THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION, 1676. The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy. . .THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF CHARLESTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1789. 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 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. . .GEORGE WASHINGTON.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1862. To the People of the Confederate States: Once more upon the plains of Manassas have our armies been blessed by the Lord of Hosts with a triumph over our enemies. It is my privilege to invite you once more to His footstool, not now in the garb of fasting and sorrow, but with joy and gladness, to render thanks for the great mercies received at His hand.
A few months since, and our enemies poured forth their invading legions upon our soil. They laid waste our fields, polluted our altars and violated the sanctity of our homes. Around our capital they gathered their forces, and with boastful threats, claimed it as already their prize. The brave troops which rallied to its defense have extinguished these vain hopes, and, under the guidance of the same almighty hand, have scattered our enemies and driven them back in dismay. . .
. . . hereby invite the people of the Confederate States to meet on that day at their respective places of public worship, and to unite in rendering thanks and praise to God for these great mercies, and to implore Him to conduct our country safely through the perils which surround us, to the final attainment of the blessings of peace and security. . .JEFFERSON DAVIS.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1864. It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. . .ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1917. We have been given the opportunity to serve mankind as we once served ourselves in the great day of our Declaration of Independence, by taking up arms against a tyranny that threatened to master and debase men everywhere. . . In this day of the revelation of our duty not only to defend our own rights as a nation but to defend also the rights of free men throughout the world. . .WOODROW WILSON.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1963. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. . .JOHN F. KENNEDY.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1981. Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. . . RONALD REAGAN.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1991. When this Nation and its coalition partners took up arms in a last-resort effort to repel aggression in the Persian Gulf, we were spared the terrible consequences of a long and protracted struggle. Indeed, the millions of people who prayed for a quick end to the fighting saw those prayers answered with a swiftness and certainty that exceeded all expectations. During the past year, we have also witnessed the demise of communism and welcomed millions of courageous people into the community of free nations.
. . . Therefore, recalling that much will be asked of those to whom much has been given, let us resolve to make food drives and other forms of charity an increasingly important part of our Thanksgiving tradition. . . GEORGE BUSH.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1997. More than three centuries of change and growth separate us from the Pilgrims and their Native American friends who sat down together for their Thanksgiving meal. . . . They remind us that everyone has something to contribute, and that we are all richer when we learn to share. . . sharing our gifts and leaving no one behind. . .WILLIAM J. CLINTON.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 2004. We are grateful to the homeland security and intelligence personnel who spend long hours on faithful watch. . . GEORGE W. BUSH.
Good luck on Thanksgiving. May all be well with you and yours.