America's First Thanksgiving Observance

America's First Thanksgiving Observance

Read the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation made by George Washington on October 3, 1789, to learn more about the godly heritage of Thanksgiving in America:

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 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 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 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 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 3rd day of October, A.D. 1789.

- George Washington

Wouldn't it be wonderful if our president openly declared our country's total dependence on God today?

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Comments(8 comments)

KIMBERLY M 11/06/2008 06:02:27

Our newly elected president wouldn't openly declare our country's total dependence on God--he doesn't believe in God. What a shame!!!

THERESA W 11/06/2008 06:53:19

Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

I'll let scripture speak for itself. We must always use it as a guide regardless of how things appear. What was written so long ago by George Washington emphasizes two things. Thanksgiving and repentance. We must all practice these two things at a personal and corporate level to see God's blessing and favor...

Theresa Wood

LEEANN P 11/06/2008 07:18:24

Theresa Wood

Thank you for your post. Everyone is accountable to God whether they believe in Him or not. Scripture states that ...every knee shall and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. I too have a responsibility to pray without ceasing.

Thank you

LeeAnn Peden

ANGELA P 11/06/2008 07:56:32

Yes we just got to remember everything is in Gods hands & he has a plan for everything that is out of our hands.

Angie P

CATHY A 11/06/2008 08:04:10

The bible warn us of evil rulers to come and warns us against certain antichrist in the world. We must pray for the Holy Spirits discernment in these things, and not to believe all the spirits, but to test them and see if they are of God. (1 John 4: 1-6) Everyone is accountable to God good and evil. And as God did with the Israelites, sometimes he raises up and allows evil rulers to discipline or punish his children for their disobedience. If the authorities are against God, are we to be on their side? Think of Daniel and the King of Babylon. Our country has fallen far from the dependence on God as it was established by our Christian forefathers. Such men do not exist within our government today. But I have hope through prayer..

Cathy Baker

YVETTE B 11/06/2008 12:24:49

I enjoyed the article and the Declaration put forth by our Forefathers although they too did not fully follow the scriptures, even then My spirit has been grieved by some of the ignorant comments being written by some of your readers, but God the Father is a Lord of Peace. We should practice Love and believe in Unity for everyone.

God Bless Us All

Yvette Burgess

SARA H 11/09/2008 10:43:50

Romans 13 is the only hope we have. God is still sovereign! In my personal reading I am half way through G. A. Henty's For the Temple, a story of the fall of Jerusalem, which Christ prophecied about. The Jewish peoples' rebellion against the leaders set over them led to a civil war . They killed each other and the factions wasted energy that could have been put to use saving them all from destruction. So many paralells can be drawn between our times and their times! Fellow Christians, pray and fast for our leaders this Thanksgiving! Maranatha, Audrey Hacker

Anne Personius 11/07/2013 15:07:47

Thanks for posting this... it's a great reminder!

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