Everyone knows that tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln on October 3rd, 1863. The Pilgrims were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving in 1621. But it is President George Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation issued on October 3rd, 1789, that I’d like to look at as we prepare for tomorrow’s festivities.
First, he acknowledges God, and our duties:
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…
Congress [has]…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.
And then Washington reminds us of His beneficent Hand in