The Birth of Thanksgiving

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God. Both Houses of Congress requested me to recommend a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November to be devoted to the service of that great and glorious Being. 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 to perform our several duties. To render our national government a blessing to all people by being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws. To protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations. 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.”

-George Washington, declaring the first Thanksgiving in 1789