The First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

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

4 Comments

  1. Marian Bach
    November 23, 2021 at 11:26 am

    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.

    • Danna Bell
      November 23, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      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. Charles Deskins
    November 23, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Thank you

  3. Oscar Alberto Román Cabra
    November 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    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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