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 – William Howard Taft
THANKSGIVING DAY – 1909 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION The season of the year has returned when, in accordance with the reverent custom established by our forefathers, the people of the United States are wont to meet in their usual places of worship on a day of thanksgiving appointed by the civil magistrate, to return thanks to God for the great mercies and benefits which they have enjoyed. During this past year we have been highly blessed. No great calamities of flood or tempest or epidemic sickness have befallen us. We have lived in quietness, undisturbed by wars or rumors of war. Peace and the plenty of bounteous crops and of great industrial production animate a cheerful and resolute people to all the renewed energies of beneficent industry and material and moral progress. It is altogether fitting that we should humbly and gratefully acknowledge the divine source of these blessings. Therefore, I hereby appoint Thursday, the 25th day of November, as a day of general Thanksgiving, and I call upon the people on that day, laying aside their usual vocations, to repair to their churches and unite in appropriate services of praise and thanks to Almighty God. 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 one thousand nine hundred and nine, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-fourth. WILLIAM H. TAFT THANKSGIVING DAY – 1910 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION This year of 1910 is drawing to a close. The records of population and harvests, which are the index of progress, show vigorous national growth and the health and prosperous wellbeing of our communities throughout this land and in our possessions beyond the seas. These blessings have not descended upon us in restricted measure, but overflow and abound. They are the blessings and bounty of God. We continue to be at peace with the rest of the world. In all essential matters our relations with other peoples are harmonious, with an ever growing reality of friendliness and depth of recognition of mutual dependence. It is especially to be noted that during the past year great progress has been achieved in the case of arbitration and the peaceful settlement of international disputes. Now therefore I, William Howard Taft, President of the United States of America, in accordance with the wise custom of the civil magistrates since the first settlement in this land and with the rule established from the foundation of this Government, do appoint Thursday, November 24, 1910, as a day of national thanksgiving and prayer, enjoining the people upon that day to meet in their churches for the praise of the Almighty God and to return heartfelt thanks to Him for all His goodness and loving kindness. WILLIAM H. TAFT THANKSGIVING DAY – 1911 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION The people of this land having by long sanction and practice set apart toward the close of each passing year a day on which to cease from their labors and assemble for the purpose of giving praise to Him who is the author of the blessings they have enjoyed, it is my duty as Chief Executive to designate at this time the day for the fulfillment of this devout purpose. Our country has been signally favored in many ways. The round of the seasons has brought rich harvests. Our industries have thrived far beyond our domestic needs; the productions of our labor are daily finding enlarged markets abroad. We have been free from the curses of pestilence, of famine and of war. Our national councils have furthered the cause of peace in other lands, and the spirit of benevolence has brought us into closer touch with other peoples, to the strengthening of the bonds of fellowship and good will that link us to our comrades in the universal brotherhood of nations. Strong in the sense of our own rights and inspired by as strong a sense of the rights of others, we live in peace and harmony with the world. Rich in the priceless possessions and abundant resources wherewith the unstinted bounty of God has endowed us, we are unselfishly glad when other peoples pass onward to prosperity and peace. That the great privileges we enjoy may continue and that each coming year may see our country more firmly established in the regard and esteem of our fellow nations is the prayer that should arise in every thankful heart. Wherefore I, William Howard Taft, President of the United States, designate Thursday, the 30th day of November next, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, and I earnestly call upon my countrymen and upon all that dwell under the flag of our beloved country then to meet in their accustomed places of worship to join in offering prayer to Almighty God and devout thanks for the loving mercies He has given to us. 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 Chicago, this 30th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eleven and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-sixth. BY THE PRESIDENT [WILLIAM H. TAFT] THANKSGIVING DAY – 1912 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION A God-fearing nation, like ours, owes it to its inborn and sincere sense of moral duty to testify its devout gratitude to the All-giver for the countless benefits it has enjoyed. For many years it has been customary at the close of the year for the national Executive to call upon his fellow-countrymen to offer praise and thanks to God for the manifold blessings vouchsafed to them in the past and to unite in earnest suppliance for their continuance. The year now drawing to a close has been notably favorable to our fortunate land. at peace within and without; free from the perturbations and calamities that have afflicted other peoples. rich in harvests so abundant and in industries so productive that the overflow of our prosperity has advantaged the whole world; strong in the steadfast conservation of the heritage of self-government bequeathed to us by the wisdom of our fathers and firm in the resolve to transmit that heritage unimpaired but rather improved by good use, to our children and our children’s children for all time to come, the people of this country have abounding cause for contented gratitude. Wherefore, I, William Howard Taft, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of long-established usage, and in response to the wish of the American people, invite my countrymen, wheresoever they may sojourn, to join, on Thursday the twenty-eighth day of this month of November, in appropriate ascription of praise and thanks to god for the good gifts that have been our portion, and in humble prayer that His great mercies toward us may endure. 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 seventh day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twelve and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-seventh. WM. H. TAFT