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George Washington issues historic Thanksgiving proclamation – Oct. 3, 1789

George Washington
George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. |

This week marks the anniversary of when President George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation given to the country under the new United States Constitution.

Washington issued the proclamation in response to a joint resolution from Congress, designating Nov. 26 of that year as a day of thanks. Washington himself attended worship at St. Paul's Chapel in New York City when the day came.

“[W]e 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,” stated the proclamation, in part.

“To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease 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.”

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