First Presidential United States
Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789
By George Washington
The first President of our country,
issued the first official Thanksgiving Day proclamation.
I thought perhaps you might like to share it
with your family on Thanksgiving Day.
"1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
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 favour:
And whereas both Houses have, by their joint committee,
requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a
DAY of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER,
to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts
the many and signal favours of Almighty God,
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to
establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the
TWENTY-SIXTH 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 previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal
and manifold mercies, and the favourable 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
the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; ---
and, in general, for all the great and various favours which
He hath been pleased to confer upon us.
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 publick or private stations,
to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;
to render our national government a blessing to all the people,
by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws,
discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide
all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us);
and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord;
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.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October,
in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington"
See also the
First Prayer in Congress!