As Thanksgiving approaches, the American annual tradition of reflection continues. This is both a personal act and a national act. The history of this tradition has its roots in New England. Pilgrim Hall Museum, America’s Museum of Pilgrim Possessions, organizes a collection that tells the story of origin and history of Thanksgiving. The collection of presidential proclamations online is a unique glimpse into the past.
The tradition of issuing a proclamation for Thanksgiving dates back to the Continental Congress. The modern tradition of Thanksgiving Proclamations dates to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Since Lincoln, a presidential proclamation has announced the modern holiday. No matter the challenge Presidents have taken a moment to express gratitude for the blessings enjoyed. This holiday take heart from the words of Presidents, past and current, and have a happy peaceful holiday.
“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.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1941
“We give thanks with the humility of free men, each knowing it was the might of no one arm but of all together by which we were saved. Liberty knows no race, creed, or class in our country or in the world. In unity we found our first weapon, for without it, both here and abroad, we were doomed. “
-Harry Truman, 1945
“All about us, doubts and fears threaten our faith in the principles which are the fiber of our society; we are called upon to prove their truth once again. Such challenges must be seen as opportunities for proof of these verities; such proof can only strengthen our Nation.”
-Richard Nixon, 1970
“I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.”
-Barack Obama, 2015
Obama, Barack. "Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2015." The White House. The White House, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Thanksgiving Proclamations. Pilgrim Hall Museum. Pilgrim Hall Museum, 13 Dec. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.