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The First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

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Today we highlight President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. You may note that the date of the proclamation is October 7, not the 4th Thursday in November.

Congress did not officially establish the 4th Thursday of November as Thanksgiving until 1941. You can learn more about presidential proclamations and this particular proclamation in this blog post.

We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday.

Front cover of the Gazette of the United States October 7, 1789 with George Washington's Presidential Proclamation on Thanksgiving
Gazette of the United States October 7, 1789

Comments (4)

  1. The proclamation was made on October 7, 1789, but the date for the thanksgiving in the text is Thursday November 26 “next” which have been 1789. See the beginning of the second paragraph.

    • The proclamation was made in October and did indicate that President Washington wanted people to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving on November 26, 1789. Congress did not formally established the 4th Thursday of November as Thanksgiving until 1941. That is listed at the end of the Today in History feature that we link to in this blog post. Thanks for your inquiry.

  2. Thank you

  3. Se trata de una bonita costumbre, una maravillosa forma de agradecer a Dios, por los beneficios recibidos, como también una hermosa oportunidad de reunir a las familias y reencontrarse, que por diversas razones se dispersan !

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