A Thanksgiving festival is deeply rooted in American history and even predates the Pilgrims’ celebration at Plymouth. Although the one in 1621 is probably the real beginning of Thanksgiving celebrations in America, David Barton of Wallbuilders explains in the video below how days of thanksgiving in American date as far back as 1541 in Palo Duro Canyon in what would later become the state of Texas. There was another in 1595 in St. Augustine, another in 1598 in El Paso as well as several more. You can watch David Barton explain the history of Thanksgiving below in this article.
The majority of presidents from Washington to Obama have made Thanksgiving Day proclamations pointing to God as our ultimate source of blessing. You can read the presidential proclamation of each president by clicking here.
We encourage you to watch the video from David Barton, but even more so the following video from “The Story of Liberty” website with your family sometime during the Thanksgiving holiday break. It is about 30 minutes long, but well worth your family’s time if you want them to understand the true significance of this national day dedicated to thanking God for his bountiful and undeserved blessings.
Click here for a PDF of the manuscript
We also wanted to post some portions of Presidential proclamations from over the years for your understanding of the significance of this day in American history and as a reminder that we are a country with a Christian heritage.
George Washington – WHEREAS 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; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Abraham Lincoln – The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
Franklin D. Roosevelt – To the end that we may bear more earnest witness to our gratitude to Almighty God, I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas. Let every man of every creed go to his own version of the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, do hereby proclaim Thursday the twenty-third day of November 1944 a day of national thanksgiving and I call upon the people of the United States to observe it by bending every effort to hasten the day of final victory and by offering to God our devout gratitude for His goodness to us and to our men.
O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him, Tell of all His wonderful works!
Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 1988, as a National Day of Thanksgiving, and I call upon the citizens of this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us.
David Barton from WallBuilders gives more information on the history of Thanksgiving in America. Watch the video here.
If you are looking for a church in the Plattsmouth area for you or someone in your extended family, please look over our site. We would enjoy having you visit with us soon.