Today is the anniversary of National Inventor's Day (in the U.S. at least). It is also Thomas Alva Edison's birthday. This holiday was created in 1983 by Ronald Reagan, though if you read the proclamation carefully, it was just that day in 1983, not in fact a recurring holiday. I choose to think of it as Edison's Birthday and therefore recurring.
"Almost two hundred years ago, President George Washington recognized that invention and innovation were fundamental to the welfare and strength of the United States. He successfully urged the First Congress to enact a patent statute as expressly authorized by the U.S. Constitution and wisely advised that ``there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science . . .'' In 1790, the first patent statute initiated the transformation of the United States from an importer of technology to a world leader in technological innovation.
"Today, just as in George Washington's day, inventors are the keystone of the technological progress that is so vital to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of this country. Individual ingenuity and perseverance, spurred by the incentives of the patent system, begin the process that results in improved standards of living, increased public and private productivity, creation of new industries, improved public services, and enhanced competitiveness of American products in world markets.
"In recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world, the Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97 - 198), has designated February 11, 1983, the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Alva Edison, one of America's most famous and prolific inventors, as National Inventors' Day. Such recognition is especially appropriate at a time when our country is striving to maintain its global position as a leader in innovation and technology. Key to our future success will be the dedication and creativity of inventors.
"Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 11, 1983, as National Inventors' Day and 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 12th day of Jan., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.