Happy Thanksgiving Every One!
What is it and why is it so important?
Thanksgiving thought it is celebrated in finding America and the Indians, they would not have set off on the trip had they not wanted to find a place where they could worship God and pray freely. Here is a good article to read about it. Our country is and was founded on the belief God is the Creator and our Father. Most our Presidents have realized this too.
The National Thanksgiving Proclamations
National Thanksgiving Proclamations proclaim thanks for God’s providence in the events of the nation and, as President Washington explained in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, “for the many signal favors of Almighty God” in the lives of the people.
As Congress recognized the importance of Thanksgiving observance, President George Washington issued a national Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. He wrote, “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…for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed…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 promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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.”
In 1789 Washington designated a national thanksgiving holiday for the newly ratified Constitution, specifically so that the people may thank God for “affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness” and for having “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… “
The first official Thanksgiving Proclamation made in America was issued by Henry Laurens as President of the Continental Congress of the United States on December 18, 1777. However, the precursor to the Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by John Hancock as President of the Continental Congress of the United Colonies and was entitled “Fast Day Proclamation” on March 16, 1776. Six national Proclamations of Thanksgiving were issued in the first thirty years after the founding of the United States of America as an independent federation of States. President George Washington issued two, President John Adams issued two, President Thomas Jefferson made none and President James Madison issued two. After 1815 there were no more Thanksgiving Proclamations.
If it weren’t for Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the popular women’s journal of the 19th century, Thanksgiving Day would not have existed beyond that.
She wrote editorials and lobbied “that the LAST THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER shall be the DAY OF NATIONAL THANKSGIVING for the American people.”
President Lincoln succumbed to her pressure and proclaimed the last Thursday in November a “prayerful day of Thanksgiving.”
Since then every U.S. President has always made an official Thanksgiving Proclamation on behalf of the nation.
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverance and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VI, “Proclamation of Thanksgiving” (October 3, 1863), p. 497.
From Lincoln’s time, fixing the date for Thanksgiving was by Presidential proclamation. In the first year of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency, 1933, during the Great Depression, the last Thursday of November fell very close to the end of the month. At that time, there were calls from many business owners for the President to move Thanksgiving one week earlier, in order to allow for a greater number of shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which they argued, might possibly offset the difficult economic times. Roosevelt did not change the date at the time. However, when the last Thursday in November again fell very late in the month in 1939, he did institute a change, by proclaiming Thanksgiving to be the 4th Thursday in November. The decision sparked wide-spread public discussion, with some Americans following the old “last Thursday in November” scheduling pattern. However, Congress agreed with the President, and by Congressional action in 1941, Thanksgiving is now always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
~God Bless You,
~Deeply Rooted in Him Staff Member,
~*The Lady Bug