Thursday, November 24, 2011

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

I originally posted this in 2010.

The origin of Thanksgiving Day has been attributed to a thanksgiving festival held by Plymouth colony in December 1621, although such celebrations date from ancient times. The idea of a day set apart to celebrate the completion of the harvest and to render homage to the Spirit who caused the fruits and crops to grow is ancient and universal. The practice of designating a day of thanksgiving for specific spiritual or secular benefits has been followed in many countries. From early colonial times the various American colonies celebrated thanksgiving days in recognition of such happy events as good harvests and victories over the Indians.

One of the first proclamations was made in Charleston, Massachusetts in 1676. President George Washington in 1789 issued the first presidential thanksgiving proclamation in honor of the new constitution. During the 19th century an increasing number of states observed the day annually, each appointing its own day. President Abraham Lincoln, on October 3, 1863, by presidential proclamation appointed the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, due to the unremitting efforts of Sarah J. Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Book.

Each succeeding president made similar proclamations until Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1939 appointed the third Thursday of November, primarily to allow a special holiday weekend for national public holiday. This was changed two years later by both congress and the President to the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day remains a day when many express gratitude to God for blessings and celebrate material bounty.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington
May we always remember the blessings that this nation gives us.  The blessings of freedom that the majority of people in this world can only dream of.

And we should remember the men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom are far from home, far from family, and serving on the front lines.  Our prayers are with them and their families.

May your day be blessed and bright.


Storm'n Norm'n said...

Ref:"I originally posted this in 2010."

I originally read that post in 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! May we be thankful in the years to come...I worry about that...if Americans don't wake up soon all that will be left of Thanksgiving will be a bunch of turkeys gobbling for more handouts.

Debbie said...

Happy Thanksgiving. The Grouch is working 24 hours today, the Direct TV is recording all the football games. I'm sure he will watch them tomorrow, before the Friday games start. (I'm not a football fan myself).

Right Truth