Proclamation 4071 - National
August 2, 1971
By the President of the United States
Whoever has heard the laughter of a child or seen sudden delight on the face
of a lonely old man has understood in those brief moments mysteries deeper than
All men are indebted to those who bring such moments of quiet splendor-who
redeem sickness and pain with joy. All across America good men in putty noses
and baggy trousers following a tradition as old as man's need to touch gently
the lives of his fellowman, go into orphanages and children's hospitals, homes
for the elderly and for the retarded, and give a part of themselves. Today, as
always, clowns and the spirit they represent are as vital to the maintenance of
our humanity as the builders and the growers and the governors.
In the folklore of the world is the persistent claim that the heart of a clown
is sad, and that all the gladness he provokes is simply a facade for the pain he
cannot reveal to the world. In the myth is the kernel of reason: the clown
leaves happiness where he goes, and takes misery away with him.
Yet we cannot suppose there is real truth in the myth. For surely the
laugh-makers are blessed: they heal the heart of the world.
To call public attention to the charitable activities of clowns and the
wholesome entertainment they provide for all our citizens, the Congress by a
joint resolution approved October 8, 1970 (Public Law 91-433), has requested the
President to designate the week of August 1 through August 7, 1971, as
International Clown Week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do
hereby proclaim the week of August 1 through August 7, 1971, as International
Clown Week. I invite the Governors of the States and the appropriate officials
of other areas under the United States flag to issue similar proclamations.
I urge the people of the United States recognize the contributions made by
clowns in their entertainment at children's hospitals, charitable institutions,
for the mentally retarded, and generally helping to lift the spirits and boost
the morale of our people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of August, in
the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.
T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project
[online]. Santa Barbara, CA.