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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor signs law creating Roberto Clemente Day

Roberto Clemente

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia has signed into law a bill declaring August 18 “Roberto Clemente Day,” the author of the measure, Rep. Ángel Matos García, announced Thursday.

“Every year it is important to remember the achievements of our Roberto Clemente, both inside and outside the ballpark,” said Matos García, the Popular Democratic Party majority leader in the island House of Representatives. “Clemente was not only one of the best baseball players of all time, but his social work was transcendent, to the point of giving his life for others. Puerto Rico and the world will always owe Clemente a debt. With this law we honor his legacy year after year.” Law 36 of 2022 declares Aug. 18 as Roberto Clemente Day with the aim of making the population aware of the life, sports achievements and social work of Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker.

Clemente was born in the San Antón neighborhood of Carolina on Aug. 18, 1934. From an early age, he showed great sports skills, first standing out in athletics before dedicating himself entirely to baseball, a passion that would make him an icon of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, all of Latin America and the United States. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his 3,000th hit.

The law promotes the government’s organization and celebration of activities for the commemoration of Roberto Clemente Day every Aug. 18, including the participation of citizens and private entities in the activities established on that day.

This year, in addition to commemorating Roberto Clemente Day, the government also will stage events to commemorate Sept. 30, the 50th anniversary of Clemente’s “Hit 3,000.” The Department of Education, meanwhile, will carry out a campaign throughout the year to educate students about the life, professional career, social work and legacy of Roberto Clemente. The campaign will include holding special events in public schools throughout Puerto Rico.

Likewise, the Tourism Co. will conduct a campaign this year to highlight the figure of Roberto Clemente as a representative of Puerto Rican culture at a national and international level, with the dual purpose of recognizing his legacy and attracting people from abroad to visit Puerto Rico.

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