In the late fall of 1863 – as the great Civil War continued into its third year – President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation from the White House – declaring the last Thursday of November to be a national day of Thanksgiving.
In September, Sarah Josepha Hale – a 74-year-old magazine editor – had written a letter to Lincoln, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” While our first President – George Washington – had earlier proclaimed the need for a day of thanksgiving, each state was left to schedule its own Thanksgiving holiday, and it was mainly only practiced on varied days throughout New England.
President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored such earlier petitions altogether.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE PROCLAMATION.
We wish you and yours a BLESSED THANKSGIVING DAY! Godspeed!
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