This day recognizes the contributions of Scottish Americans to the U.S.; and the date coincides with the signing of a declaration of Scottish independence at Arbroath. Tartan is the most recognizable pattern associated with Scotland - it is a textile of interwoven vertical and horizontal lines that can be seen on kilts, skirts, and other clothing. The Senate passed a resolution in 1998 to designate April 6 as National Tartan Day, reading in part: "Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the governors in nine of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this nation through its most troubled times." In 2005, the House passed a similar resolution; and in 2008, President George Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6th National Tartan Day. Americans of Scottish descent have made enduring contributions to our Nation with their hard work, faith and values. On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life.
Scotland and the United States have long shared ties of family and friendship, and many of our country's most cherished customs and ideals first grew to maturity on Scotland's soil. The Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence signed in 1320, embodied the Scots' strong dedication to liberty, and the Scots brought that tradition of freedom with them to the New World. Sons and daughters of many Scottish clans were among the first immigrants to settle in America, and their determination and optimism helped build our Nation's character. Several of our Founding Fathers were of Scottish descent, as have been many Presidents and Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Many Scottish Americans, such as Andrew Carnegie, were great philanthropists, founding and supporting numerous scientific, educational and civic institutions. From the evocative sounds of the bagpipes to the great sport of golf, the Scots have also left an indelible mark on American culture.