American Heart Month, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
The special effort to combat diseases of the heart and circulation initiated in the United States more than twenty years ago has been tremendously successful. Advances have been made in every aspect of cardiovascular medicine—in basic understanding, in preventive measures, in methods of diagnosis, in instrumentation, in surgical treatment, in drug therapy, in patient care, in rehabilitation. Heart victims everywhere have enormously benefited.
This progress is clearly reflected in our overall cardiovascular mortality rate, which has been reduced more than 14 percent. However, there is much to be done before this killer disease is conquered. Heart and blood vessel diseases still afflict more than 27 million persons in our country. They take over one million lives annually and they exact a tremendous toll in suffering, disability, and economic loss.
The progress we have witnessed these past years has been achieved primarily because of the programs supported by the Federal Government's National Heart and Lung Institute and the American Heart Association, a private voluntary agency. Allied with other public and private interests by common purpose, they constitute a continuing force for progress in reducing death and disability from cardiovascular causes. To sustain the forward march, however, the concern and support of all Americans is needed. With this support, the conquest of heart disease can be an attainable goal.
To help encourage this support, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved December 30, 1963 (77 Stat. 843), requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of February 1971 as American Heart Month, and I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to issue similar proclamations.
I urge the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of heart disease and to support the programs essential to bring about its solution.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-fifth.