2017 marks the 57th anniversary of National Forest Products Week. This annual observance dates back to September 13, 1960, according to the Forest History Society. On that day, Congress passed a joint resolution providing for the establishment of an annual National Forest Products Week to be held each year on the week beginning with the third Sunday in October.

President Eisenhower signed the first proclamation two days later, calling on the people of the United States “to observe the week beginning October 16, 1960, as National Forest Products Weeks, with activities and ceremonies designed to focus attention on the importance of our forests and forest products to the Nation’s economy and welfare.”

Upon signing the proclamation, Eisenhower was presented with a commemorative clock made from 10 different species of American wood. The full proclamation is below:

National Forest Products Week Legislation

PUBLIC LAW 86-753; 74 STAT.898

[S. J. RES. 209]

Joint resolution providing for the establishment of an annual National Forest Products Week.

WHEREAS our country and its people have always found constant strength, individual peace and personal pride in the bounty of our forest and timber land; and

WHEREAS from the beginning of our Nation’s founding, the forest and its products have provided a core of living and freedom touching and inspiring each citizen with majestic beauty and practical use; and

WHEREAS as our only renewable resource, wood offers the availability and abundance to satisfy the Nation’s ever growing demands and through modern forestry we can be assured of a continuous supply of timber for the future; and

WHEREAS the first settlers gained foothold in the new world and carved for themselves and their descendants a free nation and built homes, schools and churches using the forests as an ever plentiful source of material; and

WHEREAS this early building is now multiplied a thousandfold in these great United States and the importance of our forest lands has developed with equal vigor through wise management constant replanting and growth of this vital resource, and today our forests provide thousands of products – lumber, paper, building materials, chemicals, furniture and cloth – all dedicated to improving the lives of our people; and

WHEREAS in order to reemphasize to each citizen in the United States the importance and heritage of our vast forest resources which are inseparably tied to our present and our future: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:

The seven-day period beginning on the third Sunday of October in each year is hereby designated as National Forest Products Week, and the President is requested to issue annually a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Approved September 13, 1960.

To see this section as it originally appeared in print, click here.