[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America. a 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 favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress 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 signal favors 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 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—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 favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, 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 favors 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 public 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 encrease 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 1789.
Happy Thanksgiving! See you in a couple weeks!
In honor of Presidents’ Day, check out these five picture books about some of our presidents:
John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith (Disney-Hyperion Books, 2006)—very funny look at George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Franklin.
Camping With the President by Ginger Wadsworth and illustrated by Karen Dugan (Calkins Creek, 2009)—about a camping trip President Theodore Roosevelt took with John Muir.
Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain and illustrated by Larry Day (Dutton Children’s Books, 2011)—about Jefferson’s and Adam’s friendship and how they worked together to found our nation, and how their differing opinions led them to not talking for many years, and then the renewal of their friendship.
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora and illustrated by Brock Cole (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003)—At the same time Washington was fighting for and building his nation, he also fought a losing battle with his teeth.
Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas and illustrated by Layne Johnson (Calkins Creek, 2008)—showcases Washington’s constant farming experiments and innovations at Mount Vernon.