Tuesday, April 6, 1982
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, on this occasion, I would like to ask you and all my colleagues to join me in commemorating the 300th anniversary of the second voyage of the French explorer René Robert Ca- velier, Sieur La Salle. It was during this voyage that, on April 9, 1682, La Salle succeeded in canoeing down the Mississippi River and reached the Gulf of Mexico. At this juncture, he proclaimed the Mississippi Basin for France and named it Louisiana. In so doing, La Salle acquired, in name, the most fertile half of the North American continent for France.
Born In 1643, by the age of 31, La Salle had already become the most successful French fur trader in North America, having begun this career in Montreal and eventually monopolizing the fur trade in the Lake Ontario region. In May of 1678, King Louis XIV granted La Salle his consent to explore the Mississippi River to its mouth, along with the right to establish as many forts as he wished. During the ensuing voyages, La Salle set up many trading posts, built the first commercial sailing vessel on Lake Erie, and worked with the Seneca Indians who taught hlm how to make long overland Journeys. When La Salle and his expedition skirted the west shores of Lake Michigan, he stayed overnight in sites presently named Washington Island, Two Rivers, Sheboygan and South Milwaukee--all cities of present day Wisconsin. Being a Representative from the State of Wisconsin, I take added pleasure in making these remarks today.
Four years after King Louis granted his authority, La Salle at last saw for the first time the river he had dreamed of for so long--the great Mis- sissippi. Tracing the Mississippi from its joining with the Illinois River to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico, La Salle thus compIeted the exploration of this mighty river which had begun with the expeditions of his countrymen Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette.
Today, 300 years later, we should take this opportunity to remember Rená Robert Cavelier, Sieur La Salle, as well as his fellow Frenchmen, who was so vital to the exploration and set- tlement of the New World. For it was men like him--filled with courage, ambition, and a thirst for discovery who helped form the pioneering spirit in the lands of the wildemess we now call the United States of America.
Mr. PROXMIRE: Mr. President, this is a day for birthdays-- West Virginia on the one hand and Green Bay, WI, on the other.
Four hundred and fifty years ago this year, Jacques Cartier, the famous explorer and navigator, discovered Canada; 1984 also marks the 350th anniversary of Jean Nicolet's exploration of what is now Green Bay, WI, and the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin. Jean Nicolet was the first European to see and explore this region of the New World. Jean Nicolet, the great French explorer, even preceded Vince Lombardi, the great American of Italian extraction and promoter of football excellence, who put ,Green Bay on the map--really put it on the map.
To commemorate this 350th anniversary, there will be a "Heritage Festival" held in Green Bay, WI, from June 29 to July 8,1984. As part of this celebration, the Alliance Franco-Américaine du Midwest has issued a proclamation in salute to Jean Nicolet.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Proclamation of the Alliance Franco-Américaine du Midwest be printed in the RECORD.
There being no objection, the proclamation was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
Whereas, the summer of l984 will mark the 350th anilversary of the landing of Jean Nicolet. the first Frenchman to see Northeastern Wisconsin and the Western Great Lakes Country, at what is now Green Bay, Wisconsln and
Whereas, for the citizens of Northeastem Wisconsin, the commemoration of Nicolet's landing will afford an opportunity to reflect upon the 350 years of proud hlstorlcal and continuing French ethnic heritage and
Whereas such an opportunity has not been afforded since the 1934 Tercentennial Celebration and
Whereas the 350,000 citizens of Wisconsin of French/French-Canadian ancestry wish to show thelr esteem and acknowledgement of this great historical event,
Now, therefore, the Alliance Franco- Américaine du Midwest wishes to salute Jean Nicolet, Explorer/Navigator, and extend a warm and heartfelt greeting to other cltizens of these United States, and visitors to our country. to participate in this 1984 Heritage Festival, A Celebratlon of Dlscovery to be held in Green Bay, Wisconsln from June 29 thru July 8, l984.