By the President of the United States of America
The founding fathers in Section 8 of Article I of our Constitution provided that the Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of the useful arts by securing for a limited time to inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries.
The first Congress, pursuant to that Constitutional provision, enacted legislation providing inventors with such a right. That legislation became the first United States patent law when it was signed by President George Washington on April 10, 1790.
With the knowledge that the patent system contributes significantly to technological progress for the benefit of mankind, the United States since then has continually and actively maintained a national patent system even in times of war and rebellion.
This incentive provided inventors has prompted millions of our people to apply great effort and valuable resources, often persevering in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, to create, perfect and bring to the marketplace many inventions which have made our labors more productive and which have contributed to our health and welfare.
The economic and technological preeminence which our Nation has known for many years and enjoys today is in large part due to the efforts of our inventors. This preeminence can be maintained by giving encouragement to their future efforts.
In honor of the important role played by inventors in promoting progress in the useful arts and in recognition of the invaluable contribution of inventors to the welfare of our people, the 95th Congress, by House Joint Resolution 685, which I signed into law on October 14, 1978 (Public Law 95-463), designated February 11, 1979, as "National Inventors' Day."
February 11, 1979, is especially significant for celebration as National Inventors' Day because it is the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Alva Edison who one hundred years ago perfected and patented the first practical incandescent lamp, an invention which as we all know dramatically changed the way of life all over the world.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon and urge the people of the United States to honor all inventors by joining me in observing February 11, 1979, National Inventors' Day, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 5:01 p.m., January 30, 1979]