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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (MontTremblant, Canada)
For Immediate Release                                    October 8, 1999

                           COLUMBUS DAY, 1999

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                             A PROCLAMATION

Although Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the New World took place more than 500 years ago, the momentous changes it brought about still resonate today. His journey triggered a historic encounter between Europe and the native peoples of the New World; helped open new continents to exploration, trade, and development; established a reliable route to the Americas; and was a major milestone in the inexorable trend toward expansion and globalization.

Columbus could not have imagined the full impact of his arrival in 1492 or how his journey would shape human history. The zeal for trade that motivated the Spanish crown to fund Columbus' voyages still exists today as we work to strengthen our commercial ties with other nations and to compete in an increasingly global economy. Columbus' own passion for adventure survives as an integral part of our national character and heritage, reflected in our explorations of the oceans' depths and the outer reaches of our solar system. A son of Italy, Columbus opened the door to the New World for millions of people from across the globe who have followed their dreams to America. Today, Americans of Italian and Spanish descent can take special pride, not only in Columbus' historic achievements, but also in their own immeasurable contributions to our national life. From business to the arts, from government to academia, they have played an important part in advancing the peace and prosperity our country enjoys today.

We are about to embark on our own journey into a new millennium of unknown challenges and possibilities. As we ponder that future, Columbus' courage and daring still capture the American imagination, inspiring us to look to the horizon, as he did, and see, not a daunting boundary, but a new world full of opportunity.

In tribute to Columbus' many achievements, the Congress, by joint resolution of April 30, 1934 (48 Stat. 657), and an Act of June 28, 1968 (82 Stat. 250), has requested the President to proclaim the second Monday in October of each year as "Columbus Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 11, 1999, as Columbus Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of Christopher Columbus.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


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