On October 3, 1789, President Washington gave the nation’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation. In it, he both specified the exact day the nation should come together in gratitude and suggested some of the things Americans had to be grateful for.
Washington released a second Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1795. After this, only one president – James Madison in 1815 – would proclaim an official day of Thanksgiving for the next 67 years.
It was Abraham Lincoln who established Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation in 1863 kickstarted the holiday and established a tradition observed by every single president since.
Over time, the annual presidential proclamation has become more than an official announcement of the date of Thanksgiving. It has become an ode to “liberty, freedom, human dignity, community, and democracy.”1 It has become a reminder of how these values are the pillars on which our country stands. It has become a celebration of America itself. And it is a wonderful way to remember why we celebrate the way we do.
In honor of this Thanksgiving, I invite you to read the presidential proclamation given by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907.2 While much has changed in our nation since then, one thing has not: The importance of giving thanks for what we have by helping those who have less.
Below is a copy of Roosevelt’s proclamation. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
As always, Lee and I are carefully watching the markets. The economic volatility we are currently experiencing as a nation is painful given the ongoing effects of inflation and rising gas prices. These periods of economic contraction are often uncomfortable and unsettling, but it is important to remember these periods are temporary. And as much as it may seem like the sky is falling, it isn’t. We have weathered many storms over the years, often much worse than what we are experiencing today. As always, we will continue to work diligently to ensure that you continue to make progress toward your long-term goals. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns, we are here for you.
Lee and I, as well as our team, are honored to serve you and we hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Pete Peters Lee Peters
1 “Evolution of the Thanksgiving Proclamation,” University of California Santa Barbara, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/analyses/evolution-the-thanksgiving-proclamation
2 “Proclamation 776 – Thanksgiving Day, 1907,” Theodore Roosevelt, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/proclamation-776-thanksgiving-day-1907