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The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving

December 18 was original Thanksgiving Day

Continental Congress
Continental Congress

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and…also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor…to inspire our commanders both by land and sea…under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace….

The Continental Congress (1774–1789) was a convention of delegates from the 13 colonies called to govern the nascent United States during the American Revolution. While the Congress began as a divided body, it soon unified in the Second Congress on July 2, 1776, and voted unanimously for independence from Great Britain, issuing the Declaration of Independence two days later. Soon after, it established the Continental Army with George Washington, one of the Congress’s members at the time, full command of the army.

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Continental Congress

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and…also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor…to inspire our commanders both by land and sea…under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace….

The Continental Congress (1774–1789) was a convention of delegates from the 13 colonies called to govern the nascent United States during the American Revolution. While the Congress began as a divided body, it soon unified in the Second Congress on July 2, 1776, and voted unanimously for independence from Great Britain, issuing the Declaration of Independence two days later. Soon after, it established the Continental Army with George Washington, one of the Congress’s members at the time, full command of the army.

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