George Washington (1789)
While serving as the first president of the United States of America, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation in American history.
Washington issued the proclamation on Oct. 3, 1789, declaring Thursday, Nov. 26 of that year to be set aside as a day of Thanksgiving, specifically “to the service of that great and glorious Being.”
“That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war,” read Washington’s 1789 proclamation.
“… also 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, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people.”