Open main menu

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Section 8 of Article I of our Constitution provides that the Congress shall have the power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" by giving inventors, for a limited time, the exclusive right to their discoveries. The First Congress enacted legislation to this end, which, when signed by President George Washington on April 10, 1790 became the first United States patent law.

The patent incentive has prompted thousands of individuals to create, perfect. and bring to the marketplace inventions that have contributed to our health and welfare and to the productivity of our labor.

A recent review of the status of domestic industrial innovation, conducted at my request, confirms the vital role the patent system plays in the advancement of American technology.

February 11 is an especially significant date in the history of American invention because it marks the birth of Thomas Alva Edison, who, among other things, perfected and patented the first practical incandescent lamp. His ingenuity changed the lives of people in America and all over the world. In honor of the critical role played by inventors in promoting progress, and in recognition of their contributions to the welfare of this Nation, I have designated February 11, 1980, as "National Inventors' Day."

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, 1980, National Inventors' Day, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourth.

JIMMY CARTER

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:48 p.m., February 5, 1980]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).