New York Post
For Which We Give Thanks
The first Thanksgiving in the New World was celebrated in 1621, nearly a year after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1789, George Washington became the first of many US presidents to formally proclaim a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer”: 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 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.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln likewise called for a day of Thanksgiving in November:
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 so it was until President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1939, moved the celebration to the third Thursday in November to stimulate Depression-era Christmas sales. President Biden on Wednesday issued his own Thanksgiving proclamation:
This Thanksgiving, as homes across America fill with laughter, favorite family foods, and the joy of friends and relatives reuniting, we give thanks for everything that is good in our lives and reflect on the many blessings of our Nation.
This American spirit of gratitude dates back to our earliest days . . . . Today, Jill and I share that same gratitude for America’s promise and for the millions of heroes across our country whose selflessness and care for their communities represent the best of who we are.
We are grateful for our family and friends and for all of our fellow Americans, even those whom we may never meet but rely upon nonetheless. We are thankful for the scientists, researchers, doctors, and nurses who have kept us safe through a pandemic, and for the frontline workers who have kept essential services going by growing and providing food for our tables. We are grateful to faith leaders for their counsel, comfort, and support. We thank our brave service members and veterans who sacrifice so much for our freedom, and the first responders who put so much on the line to keep us all safe.
As Scripture says: “let us rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.” This is a special time in the greatest country on Earth, so let us be grateful. America is a great Nation because we are a good people. This holiday, we celebrate all that brings us together, grounded in history and our shared hopes for the future.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 2022, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States of America to join together and give thanks for the friends, neighbors, family members, and strangers who have supported each other over the past year in a reflection of goodwill and unity.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.