July 2, 1987 By the President of the United States
The ability to read and write is a true blessing and treasure. It enables us not only to discover and learn from the rich legacy of recorded human experience but also to understand and take full part in basic activities essential to daily life. Those who do not have these skills must forego many of life's possibilities, and society loses many of the contributions these people could otherwise make. Every American can be truly grateful to the dedicated citizens among us who give others the beautiful and lasting gift of literacy.
In the years since I created the Adult Literacy Initiative, more and more Americans have decided to help foster reading and writing skills. Volunteers and private-public partnerships do a great deal of good. Nevertheless, studies show that more needs to be done before ``functional illiteracy'' is a thing of the past, so we must continue our efforts to reach all who lack literacy.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 117, has designated July 2, 1987, as ``National Literacy Day'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 2, 1987, as National Literacy Day. I invite the Governors of every State, local officials, and all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to increase awareness about illiteracy and to encourage participation in programs to eliminate this problem.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:55 a.m., July 6, 1987]