Thanksgiving Proclamations – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thanksgiving Proclamations

31 Presidents have issued official Thanksgiving proclamations beginning with George Washington.  Thanksgiving was made an official holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.  Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation began an unbroken chain of yearly thanksgiving proclamations made by U.S. Presidents.

Thanksgiving Proclamations – Franklin D. Roosevelt

FDR Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1933
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.
May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.
May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.
May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.
May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-three and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-eighth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1934
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of November, 1934, as a Day of Thanksgiving for the people of the Nation.
Thus to set aside in the autumn of each year a day on which to give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of life is a wise and reverent custom, long cherished by our people. It is fitting that we should again observe this custom.
During the past year we have been given courage and fortitude to meet the problems which have confronted us in our national life. Our sense of social justice has deepened. We have been given vision to make new provisions for human welfare and happiness, and in a spirit of mutual helpfulness we have cooperated to translate vision into reality.
More greatly have we turned our hearts and minds to things spiritual. We can truly say, “What profiteth it a nation if it gain the whole world and lose its own soul.”
With gratitude in our hearts for what has already been achieved, may we, with the help of God, dedicate ourselves anew to work for the betterment of mankind.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this 15th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-ninth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1935
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-eighth of November, 1935, as a Day of National Thanksgiving.
In traversing a period of national stress our country has been knit together in a closer fellowship of mutual interest and common purpose. We can well be grateful that more and more of our people understand and seek the greater good of the greater number. We can be grateful that selfish purpose of personal gain, at our neighbor’s loss, less strongly asserts itself. We can be grateful that peace at home is strengthened by our growing willingness to common counsel. We can be grateful that our peace with other nations continues through recognition of our peaceful purpose.
But in our appreciation of the blessings that Divine Providence has bestowed upon us in America, we shall not rejoice as the Pharisee rejoiced. War and strife still live in the world. Rather, must America by example and in practice help to bind the wounds of others, strive against disorder and aggression, encourage the lessening of distrust among peoples and advance peaceful trade and friendship.
The future of many generations of mankind will be greatly guided by our acts in these present years.

We hew a new trail.
Let us then on the day appointed offer our devotions and our humble thanks to Almighty God and pray that the people of America will be guided by Him in helping their fellow men.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this 12th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixtieth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION – 1936
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, hereby designate Thursday, the 26th day of November, 1936, as a day of national thanksgiving.
The observance of a day of general thanksgiving by all the people is a practice peculiarly our own, hallowed by usage in the days before we were a Nation and sanctioned through succeeding years.
Having safely passed through troubled waters, it is our right to express our gratitude that Divine Providence has vouchsafed us wisdom and courage to overcome adversity. Our free institutions have been maintained with no abatement of our faith in men. In our relations with other peoples we stand not aloof, but make resolute effort to promote international friendship and, by the avoidance of discord, to further world peace, prosperity and happiness.
Coupled with our grateful acknowledgment of the blessings it has been our high privilege to enjoy, we have a deepening sense of our solemn responsibility to assure for ourselves and our descendants a future more abundant in faith and in security.
Let us, therefore, on the day appointed, each in his own way, but together as a whole people, make due expression of our thanksgiving and humbly endeavor to follow in the footsteps of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this 12th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-first.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1937
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of November 1937 as a day of national thanksgiving.
The custom of observing a day of public thanksgiving began in Colonial times and has been given the sanction of national observance through many years. It is in keeping with all of our traditions that we, even as our fathers in olden days, give humble and hearty thanks for the bounty and the goodness of Divine Providence.
The harvests of our fields have been abundant and many men and women have been given the blessing of stable employment.
A period unhappily marked in many parts of the world by strife and threats of war finds our people enjoying the blessing of peace. We have no selfish designs against other nations.
We have been fortunate in devoting our energies and our resources to constructive purposes and useful works. We have sought to fulfill our obligation to use our national heritage by common effort for the common good.

Let us, therefore, on the day appointed forego our usual occupations and, in our accustomed places of worship, each in his own way, humbly acknowledge the mercy of God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-second.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1938
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-fourth of November, 1938, as a day of general Thanksgiving.
Our Fathers set aside such a day as they hewed a nation from the primeval forest. The observance was consecrated when George Washington issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in the first year of his presidency. Abraham Lincoln set apart “a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Thus from our earliest recorded history, Americans have thanked God for their blessings. In our deepest natures, in our very souls, we, like all mankind since the earliest origin of mankind, turn to God in time of trouble and in time of happiness. “In God We Trust.”
For the blessings which have been ours during the present year we have ample cause to be thankful.
Our lands have yielded a goodly harvest, and the toiler in shop and mill receives a more just return for his labor.
We have cherished and preserved our democracy.
We have lived in peace and understanding with our neighbors and have seen the world escape the impending disaster of a general war. In the time of our fortune it is fitting that we offer prayers for unfortunate people in other lands who are in dire distress at this our thanksgiving Season.
Let us remember them in our families and our churches when, on the day appointed, we offer our thanks to Almighty God. May we by our way of living merit the continuance of His Goodness.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this Nineteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-third.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1939
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-third of November 1939, as a day of general thanksgiving.
More than three centuries ago, at the season of the gathering in of the harvest, the Pilgrims humbly paused in their work and gave thanks to God for the preservation of their community and for the abundant yield of the soil. A century and a half later, after the new Nation had been formed, and the charter of government, the Constitution of the Republic, had received the assent of the States, President Washington and his successors invited the people of the Nation to lay down their tasks one day in the year and give thanks for the blessings that had been granted them by Divine Providence. It is fitting that we should continue this hallowed custom and select a day in 1939 to be dedicated to reverent thoughts of thanksgiving.
Our Nation has gone steadily forward in the application of democratic processes to economic and social problems. We have faced the specters of business depression, of unemployment, and of widespread agricultural distress, and our positive efforts to alleviate these conditions have met with heartening results. We have also been permitted to see the fruition of measures which we have undertaken in the realms of health, social welfare, and the conservation of resources. As a Nation we are deeply grateful that in a world of turmoil we are at peace with all countries, and we especially rejoice in the strengthened bonds of our friendship with the other peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
Let us, on the day set aside for this purpose, give thanks to the Ruler of the Universe for the strength which He has vouchsafed us to carry o our daily labors and for the hope that lives within us of the coming of a day when peace and the productive activities of peace shall reign on every continent.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fourth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1940
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-first day of November 1940, to be observed nationally as a day of thanksgiving.
In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation.
On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this 9th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fifth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1941
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate and set aside Thursday, the twentieth day of November 1941, as a day to be observed in giving thanks to the Heavenly Source of our earthly blessings.
Our beloved country is free and strong. Our moral and physical defenses against the forces of threatened aggression are mounting daily in magnitude and effectiveness.
In the interest of our own future, we are sending succor at increasing pace to those peoples abroad who are bravely defending their homes and their precious liberties against annihilation.
We have not lost our faith in the spiritual dignity of man, our proud belief in the right of all people to live out their lives in freedom and with equal treatment. The love of democracy still burns brightly in our hearts.
We are grateful to the Father of us all for the innumerable daily manifestations of His beneficent mercy in affairs both public and private, for the bounties of the harvest, for opportunities to labor and to serve, and for the continuation of those homely joys and satisfactions which enrich our lives.
Let us ask the Divine Blessing on our decision and determination to protect our way of life against the forces of evil and slavery which seek in these days to encompass us.
On the day appointed for this purpose, let us reflect at our homes or places of worship on the goodness of God and, in giving thanks, let us ray for a speedy end to strife and the establishment on earth of freedom, brotherhood, and justice for enduring time.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this 8th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-sixth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

PROCLAMATION 2571
DAYS OF PRAYER : THANKSGIVING DAY AND NEW YEAR’S DAY
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.” Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words, for the days are with us again when, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon Almighty God.
The final months of this year, now almost spent, find our Republic and the nations joined with it waging a battle on many fronts for the preservation of liberty.
In giving thanks for the greatest harvest in the history of our nation, we who plant and reap can well resolve that in the year to come we will do all in our power to pass that milestone; for by our labors in the fields we can share some part of the sacrifice with our brothers and sons who wear the uniform of the United States.
It is fitting that we recall now the reverent words of George Washington, “Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection,” and that every American in his own way lift his voice to Heaven.
I recommend that all of us bear in mind this great Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me I the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Inspired with faith and courage by these words, let us turn again to the work that confronts us in this time of national emergency : in the armed services and the merchant marine; in factories and offices; on farms and in the mines; on highways, railways and airways; in other places of public service to the Nation; and in our homes.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby invite the attention of the people to the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as thanksgiving Day’ and I request that both Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1942, and New Year’s Day, January 1, 1943, be observed in prayer, publicly and privately.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this eleventh day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-seventh.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY, 1943
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
God’s help to us has been great in this year of march towards world-wide liberty. In brotherhood with warriors of other United Nations our gallant men have won victories, have freed our homes from fear, have made tyranny tremble, and have laid the foundation for freedom of life in a world which will be free.
Our forges and hearths and mills have wrought well; and our weapons have not failed. Our farmers, victory gardeners, and crop volunteers have gathered and stored a heavy harvest in the barns and bins and cellars. Our total food production for the year is the greatest in the annals of our country.
For all these things we are devoutly thankful, knowing also that so great mercies exact from us the greatest measure of sacrifice and service.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, November 25, 1943, as a day for expressing our thanks to God for His blessings. November having been set aside as “Food Fights for Freedom” month, it is fitting that Thanksgiving Day be made the culmination of the observance of the month by a high resolve on the part of all to produce and save food and to “share and play square” with food.
May we on Thanksgiving Day and on every day express our gratitude and zealously devote ourselves to our duties as individuals and as a nation. May each of us dedicate his utmost efforts to speeding the victory which will bring new opportunities for peace and brotherhood among men.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-eighth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

THANKSGIVING DAY, 1944
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
In this year of liberation, which has seen so many millions freed from tyrannical rule, it is fitting that we give thanks with special fervor to our Heavenly Father for the mercies we have received individually and as a nation and for the blessings He has restored, through the victories of our arms and those of our allies, to His children in other lands.
For the preservation of our way of life from the threat of destruction; for the unity of spirit which has kept our Nation strong; for our abiding faith in freedom; and for the promise of an enduring peace, we should lift up our hearts in thanksgiving.
For the harvest that has sustained us and, in its fullness, brought succor to other peoples; for the bounty of our soil, which has produced the sinews of war for the protection of our liberties; and for a multitude of private blessings, known only in our hearts, we should give united thanks to God.
To the end that we may bear more earnest witness to our gratitude to Almighty God, I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas. Let every man of every creed go to his own version of the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, do hereby proclaim Thursday the twenty-third day of November 1944 a day of national thanksgiving; and I call upon the people of the United States to observe it by bending every effort to hasten the day of final victory and by offering to God our devout gratitude for His goodness to us and to our fellow men.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this first day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-four and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-ninth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

 

Thanksgiving Proclamation

 

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