I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.
May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.
May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.
May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.
May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Although the tradition of Thanksgiving goes back to the Pilgrims and the first national Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War, it wasn't until 1941 that an act of Congress fixed the date of the holiday as the fourth Thursday in November. Prior to that, presidents every year in early November proclaimed a national Day of Thanksgiving to occur later in the month. One of those proclamations, made by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, in his first year in office, in the midst of the Great Depression, seems appropriate to recall as we approach Thanksgiving 2010.