What the records show us about how we got Thanksgiving Day | Eastern North Carolina Now | Thanksgiving history

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What the Record Shows Us About How We Got Thanksgiving Day

Christian Action League
November 24, 2022
 
On November 29, 1623, three years after the Pilgrims’ arrival and two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving:

To all ye Pilgrims:
 
In as much as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetable, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience;
 
Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
 

                                                          William Bradford, Ye Governor of Ye Colony.

President George Washington, on October 3, 1789, from the city of New York, proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving:
 
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 may all unite unto him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this county previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence 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 also, that we may then unite in the 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 promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue….
 
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd of October, A.D. 1789.
                                                                     
                                                                                George Washington.
The Congress of the United State of America October 3, 1863, passed an Act designating an annual National Day of Thanksgiving, as proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln:
 
I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens….[it is] announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord….It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.
 
                                                                                       -Abraham Lincoln
The Congress of the United States of America 1977, ratified Public Law 77-379, in which President Jimmy Carter officially proclaims the fourth Thursday of every November:
              
A National Day of Thanksgiving.
 
Taken from America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
by William J. Federer
 
From Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, CAL Staff, and its Board of Directors:
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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