National Senior Citizens Day
On August 14, 1935 the Social Security Act was signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt, which included declaring a day for senior citizens. This day was observed on the anniversary of the Act’s signing, August 14th, until 1988. When then President Reagan set a formal date for National Senior Citizens Day by proclamation. Selecting August 21st. The full text of the proclamation is listed below.
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August 19, 1988
By the President of the United States of America
Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.
With improved health care and more years of productivity, older citizens are reinforcing their historical roles as leaders and as links with our patrimony and sense of purpose as individuals and as a Nation. Many older people are embarking on second careers, giving younger Americans a fine example of responsibility, resourcefulness, competence, and determination. And more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society. Wherever the need exists, older people are making their presence felt—for their own good and that of others.
For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older—places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 138, has designated August 21, 1988, as “National Senior Citizens Day” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 21, 1988, as National Senior Citizens 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 August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:42 a.m., August 22, 1988]