The origin of America’s Thanksgiving Dayby Marie Grace
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a “National Day of Thanksgiving Proclamation” that reveals much to us about the leaders of early America.
Here is what he said:
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… Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these United States… that we then may all unite unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection…
Both houses of Congress instructed him to recommend this day of Thanksgiving to the American people. Would they now? Especially encouraging the people to give thanks to our Creator?
Even though President Washington had proclaimed the November date as a day for people to remember our blessings … there was no concerted effort to organize a yearly Thanksgiving Day until Mrs. Joseph Hale started a crusade to do so in 1827.
The National Day of Thanksgiving didn’t really get started until 74 years after President Washington’s proclamation in 1789. On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation asked all people of this great nation to set apart and celebrate the annual event in gratefulness for all the rich blessings our benevolent Heavenly Father had bestowed upon us freely.
Many of us do not have the opportunity to see our families and friends during the year. But at this time, as the strings of our history pull at our hearts, we can remember them with love and offer gratitude for the time we were given with them.
As you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving day, may you remember to thank God solemnly, reverently, and gratefully and to acknowledge the blessings He has bestowed upon this nation with the freedoms given to us under divine direction by way of our Constitution of the United States.
Let no one say our Constitution is out of date – or old fashioned. It was fashioned by God, who is never out of date!
Marie Grace has authored Thoughts Aplenty and the Mystery Mountain series. She has been writing since second grade, including poems, mini-sermons, plays, and songs. “I love the mountains, adventure, mystery and romance,” Grace explains. “My Mystery Mountain series has all of it. From repelling straight down a 300 foot canyon wall to rescue a fallen toddler from coyotes to a brave mountain man crawling into a burning and collapsing mobile home to save a widow who was struck by lightning. Some say I have an unusual sense of humor because I can find humor in almost any situation. I love to people watch. Many people would make good cartoon characters.” Marie lives with her husband and her chihuahua, Shep, in Glendale, Arizona. Visit Marie’s website to learn more and buy her books.