Thanksgiving Proclamation: 1789

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Throughout the American Revolution Congress had set aside days of Thanksgiving to God for American victories.  After the surrender of Burgoyne in 1777 Congress authorized General Washington to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving, which he did, designating it to be observed on December 18, 1777.  Thus, President Washington readily agreed when the new federal Congress authorized him to issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation, establishing the first American Thanksgiving to be held on the last Thursday in November.  Washington observed the day by attending church at Saint Paul Chapel and donating beer and food to imprisoned debtors in New York City.  Here is the text of the proclamation:

Thanksgiving Proclamation      

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 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 and 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 favor, able interpositions of His providence 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 has 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 trangressions; 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 shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, 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 1789.

Go. Washington

Happy Thanksgiving to all TAC contributors, commenters and readers!

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16 Comments

  1. “Happy Thanksgiving to all TAC contributors, commenters and readers!”

    Thanks Don for all you do to keep us informed, on the right track and in good humor in these frightful days when the world and the Church appears to be falling apart.

    Especially today and always let us give thanks to God for all the good and bad things that have happened to us. The good things to enjoy and the bad things teach us lessons about ourselves and others.

    God Bless you Don and your family. Keep up your good work.

  2. Michael: I second your wonderful sentiment. Don, and actually the entire TAC family, are a tremendous blessing in my life. I likely won’t meet any of the TAC clan on this side of the veil but I hope and pray, through God’s mercy, that we greet each other on the other side. God bless all who visit here to share in and cherish the TAC spirit.

  3. I’m afraid that setting up a priest to refuse the Eucharist to same sex marriage partners and then claim discrimination is going to become a trend. The gay woman in question is a judge and supposedly a big donor to the parish. The priest called her and told her not to present herself for Communion, in other words he did not publicly embarrass her. He is also a chaplain for a lawyers association of which she is a member. The priest and the diocese upheld Church teaching which is from God not the clergy. For someone so smart she missed that.
    This is not the end of story, I’m guessing.
    Philip N, Thank you for the link; I am sending this article to our resident mission priest.

  4. CAM.
    I’m in complete agreement with you..the story is far from over. This is the ongoing saga of culture v. Church. For those who are not afraid to “put out into the deep for a catch,” it’s exciting times. As the implosion worsens more souls will be searching for the Truth.

    Please carry a small bag of blessed Miraculous Medals and let Our Lady work in souls. God’s timing is incredible and the small seemingly trivial gesture on your part by handing them away when souls ask you for prayers, can become major Life changing events as Providence takes over.

    The time is good for fishermen to trust.
    Break out those shiny lures and be ready for a catch.

    Glad you liked the post.
    Peace.

  5. Good idea re miraculous medals. I have a friend who carries extra green scapulars to hand out. While packing for a trip to see our youngest I found his large 1″ miraculous medal he used to wear in grade school. I took it with me and handed it to him with “look what I found.”. He started to say, “But I’m not” and I cut him off saying, “Just take it. The medal, t’s yours.” To my knowledge he hasn’t been inside a church in15 or more years; not even for Christmas.
    He lives in Lafayette, a very Catholic part of Louisiana, and I’m praying he’ll meet an active Catholic woman.

  6. I keep them in my locker at work.
    Two weeks ago I was moved to pass one along to a new co-worker. That morning was extraordinary. She teared up. She had been away from the Catholic church for 8 years. She had a nightmare that morning before she awoke. She said she heard a door slam so loud that she sat up right out of her sleep. In tears she sheepishly searched for a window that might have created a draft to slam the door. None to be found.
    She was truly frightened.

    Now she is given a miraculous medal by a virtual stranger.

    She told me that she must return to Church.

    I’m assisting her to meet Fr. Nursey for reconciliation.

    God’s timing is incredible.
    We must trust that our smallest efforts can bear fruit. That Nothing is impossible With God. Fishing for souls is a privilege.
    Today’s Gospel is fitting.
    Let’s take advantage of this climate change.
    The one in people’s hearts.

  7. Today’s Gospel;

    Gospel MT 4:18-22
    As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
    Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
    casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
    He said to them,
    “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
    At once they left their nets and followed him.
    He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
    James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
    They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
    He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
    and followed him.

  8. ” The priest and the diocese upheld Church teaching which is from God not the clergy. For someone so smart she missed that.”
    Receiving the Holy Eucharist while disobeying God is a sure way to hell.
    The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, 475 East Chelton Ave. Philadelphia , PA. 19144 $22.00 per 100

  9. Thanks Mary.

    Our Legion of Mary places medal, necklace and card into small plastic bag. On the bag we have a sticker which states; Miraculous Medal. Miraculous Medal has been Blessed.
    ( Please do not throw it away)

    The card, A Gift from Heaven, is from St. Paul Street Evangelization.
    A more extensive explanation about the medal is provided via website which is on the card.

    We have been following the lead of St. Maximilian Kolbe. His description; silver bullets, penetrate the hardest hearts and prepares them for conversion. His favorite conversion story was that of St. Alphonsus Ratisbone..(check spelling).
    A great story!

    Peace.

  10. PHILIP NACHAZEL:
    “Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.” Luke 1: 30-31
    How did Mary find grace and favor with God and how are we able to find grace and favor with God but by sublimating our will and our existence to the will of God from the very first moment of our existence to God WHO is outside of time.

  11. “…by sublimating our will and our existence to the will of God from the very first moment of our existence to God WHO is outside of time.” Beautifully written Mary.

    aka; Identity Celebration.

    We see a world today that is in complete identity meltdown…identity crisis. Until one is immersed in grace one captures a sense of identity. St. Augustine had it right “….our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
    Professions, entertainments, hobbies..not bad in themselves by any means..but nobler yet is finding you, your identity, in God.
    Serving God becomes natural.
    A process.
    Sublimating.
    Very good Mary.

    Amazing Grace.

    Peace be yours on this first day of Advent.

  12. PHILIP NACHAZEL
    “St. Augustine had it right “….our hearts are restless until they rest in you.””
    There in the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Real Presence on the altar every sovereign person abides in perfection for all eternity.
    The risen Sacred Heart of Jesus gives us our fully perfect identity.
    Identity celebration indeed.
    Jesus thanks us for coming in the Holy Eucharist.
    Peace is in knowing the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
    Peace Philip

  13. Our St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta shared this from the most Sacred Heart treasury;

    “The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service and the fruit of service is peace.”

    I heard it said that she had this printed on the back of her calling cards. Excellent idea!

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