National Maritime Day, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
A strong American merchant marine is essential to the Nation's economic prosperity and military security.
Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, the Nation's maritime industry can and must move forward with the task of rebuilding our merchant marine fleet, improving the competitive position of our shipbuilding industry, and restoring the United States to its rightful proud position in the shipping lanes of the world.
All elements of the maritime industry should utilize the opportunity provided by that Act to develop an American merchant marine fully capable of providing the modem, efficient services which are indispensable both to our foreign commerce and to our security.
To remind Americans of the important role which the merchant marine plays in our national life, the Congress in 1933 designated the anniversary of the first transatlantic voyage by a steamship, the SS Savannah, on May 22, 1819, as National Maritime Day, and requested the President to issue a proclamation annually in observance of that day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to honor our American merchant marine on May 22, 1971, by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places, and I request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-fifth.