Thanksgiving Proclamations – William McKinley

31 Presidents have issued official Thanksgiving proclamations beginning with George Washingtonclick here.  Thanksgiving was made an official holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863click here.  Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation began an unbroken chain of yearly thanksgiving proclamations made by U.S. Presidents.

Thanksgiving Proclamations – William McKinley

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1897
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION
In remembrance of God’s goodness to us during the past year, which has been so abundant. “Let us offer Him our thanksgiving and pay our vows unto the Most High.” Under His watchful providence, industry has prospered, the conditions of labor have been improved, the rewards of the husbandman have been increased, and the comforts of our homes multiplied. His mighty hand has preserved peace and protected the nation. Respect for law and order has been strengthened, love of free institutions cherished, and all sections of our beloved country brought into closer bonds of fraternal regard and generous cooperation.
For these great benefits it is our duty to praise the Lord in a spirit of humility and gratitude, and to offer up to Him our most earnest supplications. That we may acknowledge our obligation as a people to Him who has so graciously granted us the blessings of free government and material prosperity, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of November, for national thanksgiving and prayer, which all of the people are invited to observe with appropriate religious services in their respective places of worship.
On this day of rejoicing and domestic reunion, let our prayers ascend to the Giver of every good and perfect gift, for the continuance of His love and favor to us, that our hearts may be filled with charity and good will, and that we may be ever worthy of His beneficent concern.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-second.
WILLIAM McKINLEY

THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE FOR THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER
Executive Mansion, Washington, July 6, 1898
To the People of the United States of America :
At this time, when to the yet fresh remembrance of the unprecedented success which attended the operations of the United States fleet in the bay of Manila on the 1st day of May last are added the tiding of the no less glorious achievements of the naval and military arms of our beloved country at Santiago de Cuba, it is fitting that we should pause and, staying the feeling of exultation that too naturally attends great deeds wrought by our countrymen in our country’s cause, should reverently bow before the throne of divine grace and give devout praise to god, who holdeth the nations in the hollow of His hands and worketh upon them the marvels of His high will, and who has thus far vouchsafed to us the light of his face and led our brave soldiers and seamen to victory.
I therefore ask the people of the United States, upon next assembling for divine worship in their respective places of meeting, to offer thanksgiving to Almighty God, who in His inscrutable ways, now leading our hosts upon the waters to unscathed triumph; now guiding them in a strange land, through the dread shadows of death, to success, even though at a fearful cost; now bearing them, without accident or loss, to far distant climes, has watched over our cause and brought nearer the success of the right and the attainment of just and honorable peace.
With the nation’s thanks let there be mingled the nation’s prayers that our gallant sons may be shielded from harm alike on the battlefield and in the clash of fleets, and be spared the scourge of suffering and disease while they are striving to uphold their country’’ honor; and withal let the nation’’ heart be stilled with holy awe at the thought of the noble men who have perished as heroes die, and be filled with compassionate sympathy for all those who suffer bereavement or endure sickness, wounds, and bonds by reason of the awful struggle. And above all, let us pray with earnest fervor that He, the Dispenser of All good, may speedily remove from us the untold afflictions of war and bring to our dear land the blessings of restored peace and to all the domain now ravaged by the cruel strife the priceless boon of security and tranquility.
WILLIAM McKINLEY

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1898
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
The approaching November brings to mind the custom of our ancestors, hallowed by time and rooted in our most sacred traditions, of giving thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He has vouchsafed to us during the year.
Few years in our history have afforded such cause for thanksgiving as this. We have been blessed by abundant harvests; our trade and commerce have wonderfully increased; our public credit has been improved and strengthened; all sections of our common country have been brought together and knitted into closer bonds of national purpose and unity.
The skies have been for a time darkened by the cloud of war, but as we were compelled to take up the sword in the cause of humanity we are permitted to rejoice that the conflict has been of brief duration and the losses we have had to mourn, though grievous and important, have been so few, considering the great results accomplished, as to inspire us with gratitude and praise to the Lord of Hosts. We may laud and magnify His holy name that the cessation of hostilities came so soon as to spare both sides the countless sorrows and disasters that attend protracted war.
I do therefore invite all my fellow-citizens, as well as those who may be at sea or sojourning in foreign lands as those at home, to set apart and observe Thursday, the 24th day of November, as a day of national thanksgiving, to come together in their several places of worship for a service of praise and thanks to almighty God for all the blessings of the year, for the mildness of the seasons and the fruitfulness of the soil, for the continued prosperity of the people, for the devotion and valor of our countrymen, for the glory of our victory and the hope of a righteous peace, and to pray that the divine guidance which has brought us heretofore to safety and honor may be graciously continued in the years to come.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 28th day of October, A.D. 1898, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-third.
WILLIAM McKINLEY

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1899
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
A national custom dear to the heart of the people calls for the setting apart of one day in each year as an occasion of special thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings of the preceding year. This honored observance acquires with time a tender significance. It enriches domestic life. It summons under the family roof the absent children to glad reunion with those they love.
Seldom has this nation had greater cause for profound thanksgiving. No great pestilence has invaded our shores. Liberal employment waits upon labor. Abundant crops have rewarded the efforts of the husbandman. Increased comforts have come to the home. The national finances have been strengthened, and public credit has been sustained and made firmer. In all branches of industry and trade there has been an unequaled degree of prosperity, while there has been a steady gain in the moral and educational growth of our national character. Churches and schools have flourished. American patriotism has been exalted. Those engaged in maintaining the honor of the flag with such signal success have been in a large degree spared from disaster and disease. An honorable peace has been ratified with a foreign nation with which we were at war, and we are now on friendly relations with every Power on earth.
The trust which we have assumed for the people of Cuba has been faithfully advanced. There has been marked progress toward restoration of healthy industrial conditions, and under wise sanitary regulations the island has enjoyed unusual exemption from the scourge of fever. The hurricane which swept over our new possession of Porto Rico, destroying the homes and property of the inhabitants, called forth the instant sympathy of the people of the United States, who were swift to respond with generous aid to the sufferers. While the insurrection still continues in the island of Luzon, business is resuming its activity, and confidence in the good purpose of the United States is rapidly established throughout the archipelago.
For these reasons and countless others, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby name Thursday, the thirtieth day of November next, as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed as such by all people on this continent and in our newly acquired islands, as well as by those who may be at sea or sojourning in foreign lands; and I advise that on this day religious exercises shall be conducted in the churches or meeting places of all denominations, in order that in the social features of the day its real significance may not be lost sight of, but prayers may be offered to the Most High for a continuance of the divine guidance without which man’s efforts are vain, and for divine consolation to those whose kindred and friends have sacrificed their lives for country.
I recommend also that on this day, so far as may be found practicable, labor shall cease from its accustomed toil and charity abound toward the sick, the needy, and the poor.
In witness whereof, I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-fourth.
WILLIAM McKINLEY

THANKSGIVING DAY – 1900
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
It has pleased Almighty God to bring our nation in safety and honor through another year. The works of religion and charity have everywhere been manifest. Our country through all its extent has been blessed with abundant harvests. Labor and the great industries of the people have prospered beyond all precedent. Our commerce has spread over the world. Our power and influence in the cause of freedom and enlightenment have extended over distant seas and lands. The lives of our official representatives and many of our people in China have been marvelously preserved. We have been generally exempt from pestilence and other great calamities; and even the tragic visitation which overwhelmed the city of Galveston made evident the sentiments of sympathy and Christian charity by virtue of which we are one united people.
Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart Thursday, the 29th of November next, to be observed by all the people of the United States, at home or abroad, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Him who holds the nations in the hollow of His hand. I recommend that they gather in their several places of worship and devoutly give Him thanks for the prosperity wherewith He has endowed us, for seedtime and harvest, for the valor, devotion, and humanity of our armies and navies, and for all His benefits to us as individuals and as a nation; and that they humbly pray for the continuance of His divine favor, for concord and amity with other nations, and for righteousness and peace in all our ways.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-ninth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-fifth.
WILLIAM McKINLEY

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