One Hundred Second Congress of the United States of America
AT THE FIRST SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Thursday, the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-one
To designate March 26, 1991, as `Education Day, U.S.A.'.
Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded;
Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws;
Whereas without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos;
Whereas society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles that has resulted in crises that beleaguer and threaten the fabric of civilized society;
Whereas the justified preoccupation with these crises must not let the citizens of this Nation lose sight of their responsibility to transmit these historical ethical values from our distinguished past to the generations of the future;
Whereas the Lubavitch movement has fostered and promoted these ethical values and principles throughout the world;
Whereas Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the Lubavitch movement, is universally respected and revered and his eighty-ninth birthday falls on March 26, 1991;
Whereas in tribute to this great spiritual leader, `the rebbe', this, his ninetieth year will be seen as one of `education and giving', the year in which we turn to education and charity to return the world to the moral and ethical values contained in the Seven Noahide Laws; and
Whereas this will be reflected in an international scroll of honor signed by the President of the United States and other heads of state: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That March 26, 1991, the start of the ninetieth year of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, leader of the worldwide Lubavitch movement, is designated as `Education Day, U.S.A.'. The President is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
Education Day, U.S.A., 1991
By the President of the United States of America
Today our Nation is engaged in a campaign that must not and, I believe, will not fail -- a concerted, State-by-State effort to revitalize our schools and to reach our six National Education Goals by the year 2000. These goals include: ensuring that every child starts school ready to learn; raising the graduation rate to at least 90 percent; ensuring that American students are competent in five critical subjects with their progress assessed in grades 4, 8, and 12; ranking first in the world in science and mathematics achievement; ensuring that every American adult is literate and possesses the knowledge and skills -- including the technical skills -- necessary to compete in the global economy; and making all our schools safe, disciplined, and drug free.
Achieving these goals is essential if our children are to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to enjoy rich, full lives and to become productive, successful participants in our society. However, if the application of one's knowledge and skills is to be truly fruitful and rewarding, it cannot be divorced from high moral purpose. In the hands of those who lack fundamental moral direction, these powerful tools can readily become useless -- or even destructive. Therefore, we must continue to recognize the importance of moral instruction as we seek excellence in American education.
Public as well as private institutions of learning have both an obligation and a proper interest in advancing principles of ethical conduct and moral virtue. Teachers who demonstrate, by word and example, the importance of such qualities as truthfulness, fair play, tolerance, and respect for human life are among the best role models a child can have.
However, moral education begins at home, in the guidance parents provide for their children, and in religious institutions, where we learn of God's law and God's love. The worldwide Lubavitch movement, under the leadership of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, has underscored the importance of moral education, as well as the primary role of parents and religious institutions in promoting high standards of personal character and conduct in our society.
By equipping our children with the light of moral instruction and the strong staff of traditional family values, we help to guarantee them safe passage on their life's journey. As Scripture says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and, when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Moral education is vital, not only to the personal well-being of our children, but also to the preservation of civil order and justice. Our Nation's Judeo-Christian heritage, affirmed in its founding documents and in the traditional values that remain the heart of America, goes hand in hand with the success of this great yet precious experiment in self-government. Thus, moral education in keeping with that heritage is one of the most important and enduring investments we can make in the future of our children and the Nation. As Daniel Webster once noted:
If we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 104, has designated March 26, 1991, as "Education Day, U.S.A." 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 March 26, 1991, as Education Day, U.S.A. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the Untied States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.