Thanksgiving Proclamation by President Lyndon B. Johnson…

November 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York Times dated October 19, 1966 was one of the few newspapers we’ve unearthed which printed the full text of LBJ’s eloquent Thanksgiving Proclamation – a message still worthy of consideration a half-century later. If anyone knows of other titles which printed it, we would love to hear about it. In our opinion, it’s that good. Happy Thanksgiving.blog-11-24-2016-thanksgiving-proclamation

The Traveler… the Thanksgiving proclamation…

November 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-11-03-2014-Lincoln-Thanksgiving-ProclamationThis weeks travels took me to Boston, Massachusetts, by the way of The Liberator dated November 4, 1864. There I found President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving. “It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health… Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart, the last Thursday in November next, as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God, and the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the universe; and I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers supplications to the Great Disposer of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land, which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and our posterity throughout all generations… ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

~The Traveler

Thanksgiving Proclamations… a survey through American History…

November 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This Thanksgiving, why not take the family on a historically “Pinteresting”walk through a survey of Thanksgiving Proclamations made at key moments in American History?

http://pinterest.com/rarenewspapers/thanksgiving-proclamations/

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Traveler… Thanksgiving proclamation… schooling that maybe should be revisited…

November 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy belated Thanksgiving from “The Traveler”!  Even though it is a few days past the U.S. observance, my travels found me back at Thanksgiving again with the November 29, 1911 issue of The Courier from Coldwater, Michigan.  The front page of the issue features a large Proclamation from the Chase S. Osborn, Governor of Michigan, setting aside Thursday, November 30th for a day of prayer, feasting and thanksgiving.

Additionally on the front page is an article “Thanksgiving in Coldwater – At the Churches, the State School and City Schools” which begins “Every one of the ninety-two million American citizens is called upon by the President of the United States (Taft) and the Governor of  his state to lift up to Heaven the praises of his heart to the Giver of All on Thursday…”. The article then continues about the programs which were held in the schools, including “In the High School, in place of the regular chapel exercises there was read the Governor’s and President’s proclamations…”.

Separation of church and state? Something about this report just seemed good.  Maybe we should revisit the old school ways???

~The Traveler

Are Presidential proclamations for thanksgiving and prayer unconstitutional?

June 26, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

Over the years we have written multiple posts featuring noteworthy Presidential proclamations for days of thanksgiving, humiliation, and prayer, and have listed quite a few on the Rare & Early Newspapers website. Not too long ago we came across an issue of The Boston Investigator for November 10, 1880 which contained an article focused on a view that such proclamations are/were unconstitutional. So, although we passionately disagree with this opinion, in an effort to be fair and balanced, we present the article below. Feel free to respond with your thoughts.

Lincoln’s “under the radar” proclamation for Thanksgiving…

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Many are quite familiar with President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of October, 1863. However, few have read or heard of his similar proclamation from a few month’s prior which helped build the foundation for his famous October proclamation. The Star of the West, July 25, 1863 contains the text (see images below) of this earlier declaration calling for a day of thanksgiving and prayer – words which are apropos as we prepare (in the U.S.) to celebrate Thanksgiving. Note: We’ve included the text of this famous proclamation below.Blog-11-25-2015-Lincoln-Proclamation-Thanksgiving

October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony 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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades through time…

November 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy Thanksgiving! Whereas we have written multiple posts to celebrate Thanksgiving which focus on Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations, we thought this year we would give a shout-out to the resiliency of New Yorkers by directly the spotlight on the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades through time. Please enjoy this walk back through history:

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades

Thanksgiving – only days away…

November 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As Thanksgiving (U.S.) rapidly approaches, we thought we’d bring everyone’s attention to various Thanksgiving-themed posts from the past. Please enjoy:

Civil War era reflections on Thanksgiving…

Reflecting on a Day of Thanksgiving & Prayer from 1776…

Thanksgiving Proclamations… a survey through American History…

The Traveler… Thanksgiving proclamation… schooling that maybe should be revisited…

Lincoln establishes a national Thanksgiving Day…

Thanksgiving… I time for expressing gratitude…

Lincoln establishes a national Thanksgiving Day…

November 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Appropriate for this day we show photos of the official Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln establishing the “…last Thursday in November…” as a day of Thanksgiving.

In the midst of the Civil War and with the troubles the nation was facing, he thought it appropriate that: “…fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to act apart & observe…a day of Thanksgiving & Prayer to our beneficent Father…due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national…disobedience, commend to His tender care…implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation & to restore it...” (see photos).

This text appeared in the New York Daily Tribune of October 5, 1863.  A beautifully written piece by the President in the midst of so much national turmoil & bloodshed.   Please enjoy:

Thanksgiving-Proclamation-Abraham-Lincoln

Thanksgiving… I time to be thankful…

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The title seems to be a bit absurd; or is it?  In a land of abundance we often take our blessings for granted. Good health, a roof over our head, knowing where our next meal is coming from, being surrounded by loved ones, having a warm place to stay, safety – all of which we rarely need to question – are before us day in and day out.  Our freedoms – of speech, of religion, of the right to bear arms, of political expression, of the pursuit of happiness, etc. – the list of things for which we should be thankful pervade every aspect of our lives.  For most of us our greatest concern this Thanksgiving will be deciding on the time we plan to eat and whether we should have dessert before or after the football game.  This abundance affords us the luxury to focus on such intellectual discourse as whether or not the Pilgrim story we learned as children actually occurred, or if it occurred in the manner we were taught. There is nothing wrong with this.  However, this year, let’s take a respite from our intellectual pursuits and spend time engaging in matters of the heart. George Washington grasped the importance of a thankful heart when he made the first Thanksgiving proclamation:

General Thanksgiving

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 PUBLICK 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 TWENTY-SIXTH 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 single and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable 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 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 wife, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto 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, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

With Washington’s proclamation set before them, governors and elder statesmen have followed his lead ever since (view an example from October 28, 1829).  Similar proclamations and the general national attitude of “thankfulness” have revealed themselves in countless historic newspapers.

Finally, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s nearly broken heart led him to make Thanksgiving a National (U.S.) Holiday:

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony 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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Matters of the heart. It is interesting to note both Washington’s and Lincoln’s historic Thanksgiving Proclamations came in response to war – moments when the citizenry was moved to lay down their differences to come together in unity (similar to what occurred on September 12, 2001 – the day after), and acknowledge the blessings which were common to all.

Being surrounded by historic newspapers, I am constantly reminded of the great & many sacrifices which have been made so my children can live in this land of abundance – in freedom and in safety. I am moved to challenge myself to take time to count my blessings (which are many), and to “come as a child” to the feast which will soon be set before me. I invite you to join with me in reflecting upon life’s simple pleasures, the memories of old, and the joys which warm the heart. It is with this in mind I leave you with:

A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day

by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for ‘tis Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood,
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, “Oh dear, the children are here,
bring a pie for every one.”

Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

from the staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers…   History’s Newsstand

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