Civil War origins, turkey-less first meal: 7 interesting facts about Thanksgiving

The first United States Thanksgiving (technically)

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

While serving as the first president of the United States, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation in October 1789, which designated Nov. 26 of that year as a day of Thanksgiving.

The proclamation noted 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.”

“I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be,” stated Washington’s proclamation.

Although technically being the first Thanksgiving proclamation, it did not establish a running annual tradition of November holidays, with Washington issuing a similar proclamation in February 1795 to celebrate the defeat of a tax revolt in Pennsylvania.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In U.S.