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One hundred and fifty years ago, George Washington, the first president of the United States, issued his first Thanksgiving proclamation, at the request of the first United States Congress during the first year under a constitutional government.
He designated the last Thursday in November as the day for Thanksgiving, which happened to fall on the 26th in that year.
The preamble sets forth that “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
In the body of the proclamation, after recounting the blessings for which the people should return thanks, President Washington further states the purpose of the day, “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 by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue and the increase 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.”
In the spirit of Washington and our first national Thanksgiving, I proclaim the traditional last Thursday of the month, Nov. 30, 1939, as a legal holiday in North Carolina and a day of general Thanksgiving upon the part of all the people. It is fitting and proper that we assemble in our special places of worship on this dedicated day to renew our allegiance to the ideals of the republic, to reconsecrate ourselves to the causes of popular government, to acknowledge afresh our dependence upon God, to rekindle our faith in the everlasting spiritual values, to hearken to the high call of duty in loyal and patriotic service, to thank a Supreme Ruler for state unity and national peace, to pray for peace universal and for an end to war and bloodshed all over the good earth.
In witness whereof, I, Clyde R. Hoey, governor of North Carolina, have signed and caused the Great Seal to be affixed hereto, in our City of Raleigh, this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand and nine hundred and thirty-nine and in the one hundred and sixty-fourth year of our American Independence.
Clyde R. Hoey, Governor
Taken from journalpatriot.com.