5 U.S. Presidents Who Issued Thanksgiving Proclamations | News | First Liberty

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5 U.S. Presidents Who Issued Thanksgiving Proclamations

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November 19, 2018
US Thanksgiving Presidential Proclamations | First Liberty

What comes to mind when you think about Thanksgiving?

You probably imagine yourself knee-deep in turkey and stuffing, maybe watching some football while you knock back some of grandma’s special apple pie.

But while you bask in your family feast, we want to share with you how Thanksgiving goes beyond harvests, dinners, and family celebrations.

Indeed, Thanksgiving has a close connection with the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and how the Founding Fathers acknowledged the role of religion – and God – in the founding and the survival of the United States.

In fact, in 1789, the U.S. House and Senate formed a special committee that asked President George Washington to declare a day specifically dedicated to prayer and thanksgiving.

And thus, in October of that year, President Washington issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he thanked God for the documents that brought our great nation into fruition. And, what’s more, Washington had no reservations about calling religious liberty a blessing:

“…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…”

But the proclamation tradition didn’t start or end with President Washington.

America’s Founding Fathers and several U.S. Presidents have issued proclamations encouraging all Americans to have grateful hearts for our liberties, rights, our representative government, and the freedom to express and live out our faith.

Here are 5 Thanksgiving Day Proclamations* issued by U.S. Presidents at various times in American history:


George Washington – 1789

Thanksgiving Proclamation | President George Washington | First Liberty

Abraham Lincoln – 1863

Thanksgiving Proclamation | President Abraham Lincoln | First Liberty

Grover Cleveland – 1887

Thanksgiving Proclamation | President Grover Cleveland | First Liberty

William H. Taft – 1909

Thanksgiving Proclamation | President William Howard Taft | First Liberty

Franklin D. Roosevelt – 1933

Thanksgiving Proclamation | President Franklin D Roosevelt | First Liberty

*Proclamation text and historical information courtesy of Wallbuilders.

First Liberty Logo - Restoring Religious Liberty for All Americans

To The American Legion:

As a grateful citizen, I support your effort to honor those who have fallen in battle and to keep the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial standing as a visible reminder of valor, sacrifice, endurance, and devotion.

Veterans memorials like the one in Bladensburg, MD are symbols reminding us of the sacrifice of our service members and the cost of war. Tearing down the Bladensburg Memorial would erase the memory of the 49 fallen heroes of Prince George’s County—like they never even existed.

We cannot allow the Bladensburg Memorial to be bulldozed.

Please know that you have my support and backing in your petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.