The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

George Washington, in the first year of his first term, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving be all the people of the United States. As you read this, ask yourself, “When was the last time a President spoke this freely and decisively?” Do note that our nation’s capital had yet to be formed and at the time of this proclamation, was in New York City.

A copy of this proclamation was sent to the executives of the States by the President in a brief form letter (October 3). This form is recorded in the “Letter Book” in the Washington Papers.

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