National Lighthouse Day, 1989
By the President of the United States of America
Lighthouses, the buildings whose solitary beacons have helped guide countless ships through the perils of fog and darkness, are a cherished part of our Nation's heritage. These impressive structures have long symbolized safety, vigilance, and faithfulness. Often isolated and repeatedly tested by the ravages of storm and sea, lighthouses are also monuments to the courage and determination of the people who built them and the keepers who have maintained them.
Lighthouses claim an honored place in the maritime history of the United States. They have served as navigational aids indicating landfall, marking dangerous reefs, and identifying harbor entrances. Today, approximately 750 lighthouses remain in the United States, standing along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts and throughout the Great Lakes. More than half of them are still used for navigation.
On August 7, 1989, we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Lighthouse Act by our Nation's first President, George Washington. The Lighthouse Act established the Federal Government's role in the support, maintenance, and repair of these unique structures and commissioned the first Federal lighthouse.
By the end of this year, the United States Coast Guard will have completed the automation of all lighthouses it currently operates, bringing an end to the proud and colorful era of maimed lighthouses. In cooperation with affected communities and concerned organizations, the Coast Guard is working to preserve the remaining structures and to educate the public on the role of lighthouses in our history and culture. These groups have succeeded in having more than 200 lighthouses listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In recognition of the historic value of our Nation's lighthouses and the ongoing efforts to preserve them so that they might be opened to and enjoyed by the public, the Congress, by Public Law 100-622, has designated August 7, 1989, as "National Lighthouse Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.