Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like or the , Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?
In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because —
“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 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in for 48 years.
In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” called on that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
As a nation of faith, Americans have set aside this day to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed.
We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to this site with their trenchant observation, insight, righteous outrage, and wit.
God bless you, and may God bless America,