Thanksgiving Proclamations – Lyndon B. Johnson

Thanksgiving Proclamations

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 – Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B Johnson 19

PROCLAMATION 3627 : THANKSGIVING DAY.
NOVEMBER 13, 1964
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION :
As the harvest season draws to a close and our storehouses bulge with the bounty of the land, it is our desire to observe, in the custom and tradition of our forebears, a special day dedicated to giving thanks to God – a day on which to lay aside our daily tasks and cares and pay joyous homage to Him. We are impelled to raise our voices in His praise and to proclaim our heartfelt gratitude for another year in which we have been blessed with a bountiful harvest, with intellectual, humanitarian, economic, scientific, and technical advances and achievements, and with other gains too numerous to mention.
Although we have been blessed with unsurpassed prosperity, we recognize that poverty and want exist throughout the world – even among us – and we pledge ourselves to the eradication of those evils.
We know, too, that the foundation for a peaceful world is still to be built and that even now armed strife exists in parts of the world. We are saddened that gallant men of our Armed Services have fallen in the eternal quest for peace with freedom, dignity, and justice for all. We share with their bereaved families and friends a sense of tragic loss. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, we resolve “that these honored dead shall not have died in vain,” and vow that their loss will spur us ever onward until man’s great dream of universal peace is realized.
Yet we are filled with an instinctive impulse to give thanks for

our free society of free men, free institutions, and free elections;
our freedom of speech, our freedom of the press, and our freedom to worship as our conscience dictates;
our emphasis upon the dignity, equality, and worth of man;
our humanitarian instincts;
our unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
our confidence in our ability to meet the challenges of today and of the future.

For these are the things that set us apart as a Nation – that made our Nation great – that will keep our Nation great.
So as our forefathers in Virginia, in New England, and throughout this land have done for more than three and one-half centuries, let us appoint a special day on which all of us, in keeping with the dictates of our own conscience, will give thanks to the Lord for His manifold blessings. And on that day, let us rededicate ourselves to meeting the challenges of the present with the fortitude and faith with which our forefathers met the challenges of the past.
Now, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, 55 Stat. 862 (5 U.S.C. 87b), designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 1964, as a day of national thanksgiving.
On that day, let us gather in our homes and in our places of worship and in other suitable places to give thanks to God for His graciousness and His generosity to us – to pledge to Him our everlasting devotion – to beseech His divine guidance and the wisdom and strength to recognize and follow that guidance – and to pray to Him that the forces of evil, violence, indifference, intolerance, and inhumanity may soon vanish from the face of the earth and that peace, reason, understanding, and good-will may reign supreme throughout the world.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-ninth.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

THANKSGIVING DAY, 1965. PROCLAMATION 3687. DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1965.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
For all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our nation during the past twelve months, it is a small thing to give thanks to Almighty God.
When the pilgrims first observed Thanksgiving nearly 350 years ago, life was harsh and unrelenting. Cold and sickness had diminished their ranks. Their shelter was crude. Their future was uncertain. Yet when their harvest was abundant, they considered themselves blessed – and their hearts were filled with gratitude.
Today we have much more than an abundant harvest. Our nation is rich and strong and united in the cause of liberty and justice. Our physical comforts are unmatched anywhere in the world. Our medicine has conquered ancient diseases.
In the past year we have added greatly to that national legacy. We have guaranteed the right to vote to all our citizens. We have pledged dignity to our elderly – even in sickness. We have added new dimensions to the education of our youth. We have broadened the horizons of opportunity for our poor. And all the while, we have enjoyed the greatest prosperity in history.
But our real blessings lie not in our bounty. They lie in those steadfast principles that the early pilgrims forged for all generations to come : the belief in the essential dignity of man; the restless search for a better world for all; and the courage – as shown by our sons in Viet Nam today – to defend the cause of freedom wherever on earth it is threatened.
These are the eternal blessings of America. They are the blessings which make us grateful even when the future is uncertain. They are the blessings which give us the strength to complete the unfinished tasks that remain before us.
For these blessings should we thank God most of all.
Now, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the Joint Resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, 55 Stat. 862 (5 U.S.C. 87b), designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 1965, as a day of national thanksgiving.
On that day, let us gather in our homes and in our places of worship to thank God for His generosity. Let us make ourselves worthy of that generosity by pledging to Him our everlasting devotion. And let us pray to Him that the forces of violence, indifference and intolerance may soon vanish from the face of the earth so that peace and understanding and love may reign supreme.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this tenth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

PROCLAMATION 3752, THANKSGIVING DAY, 1966.
OCTOBER 18, 1966.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
They came in tiny wooden ships. On an unknown and alien shore, they planted and built, settled and survived. Then they gave solemn thanks to God for His goodness and bounty. America, well over 300 years ago had its first Thanksgiving Day.
For many years your Presidents have had the opportunity to proclaim Thanksgiving Day, to address themselves to the American people, to remind us of the blessings we enjoy and the thanks that we owe.
If we consider the fervor with which those colonists in Virginia and Massachusetts gave thanks, when they had so little, we are taught how much deeper should our thanks be – when we have so much.
Never, in all the hundreds of Thanksgiving Days, has our nation possessed a greater abundance, not only of material things, but of the precious intangibles that make life worth living, never have we been better fed, better housed, better clothed. Never have so many Americans been earning their own way, and been able to provide their families with the marvelous products of a momentous age.
Nor has America ever been healthier, nor had more of her children in school and in college. Nor have we ever had more time for recreation and refreshment of the spirit, nor more ways and places in which to study and to enrich our lives through the arts.
Never have our greatest blessings – our freedoms – been more widely enjoyed by our people. Nor have we ever been closer to the day when every American will have an equal opportunity and an equal freedom.
No, we do not yet have peace in the world. Our men are engaged again, as they have been on so many other Thanksgivings, on a foreign field fighting for freedom, but we can be thankful for their strength that has always kept our liberty secure. We can be thankful for our science and technology that helps to guard our America.
Thanks are better spoken by deed rather than word. Therefore, it behooves a grateful America to share its blessings with our brothers abroad, with those who have so little of the abundance that is ours.
Simple justice and a concern for our fellow man require that we be ready to offer what we can of our food, our resources, our talents, our energies, our skills, and our knowledge to help others build a better life for themselves.
We should thank God that we are able.
Let us, therefore, in this splendid American tradition, thank Him who created us and all that we have. Let us do so with a firm resolve to be worthy of His abundance blessings. Let us assemble in our homes and in our places of worship, each in his own way.
Let us thank God for the America we are so fortunate to know.
Now, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, in consonance with Section 6103 of Title of the United States Code designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 1966, as a day of national thanksgiving.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this seventeenth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

PROCLAMATION 3819, THANKSGIVING DAY, 1967.
NOVEMBER 9, 1967
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
The first American tradition grew out of gratitude for survival.
It began – long before independence was a dream – with families responding to an even deeper human impulse. They had suffered the rigors of winter in a new world – and they had endured. They put aside their plows and thanked God for the harvest’s bounty.
Over the years, we have made Thanksgiving a unique national occasion. Thanking God for His goodness, we thank Him as well for the promise and the achievement of America.
Our reasons for gratitude are almost without number. We are grateful for the endurance of our government for one hundred and eighty years. We are grateful that the founding fathers planned so wisely for the generations that followed them. We are grateful for a material abundance beyond any mankind has ever known. In our land, the harvests have been good.
Much as we are grateful for these material and spiritual blessings, we are conscious, in this year, of special sorrows and disappointments. We are engaged in a painful conflict in Asia, which was not of our choosing, and in which we are involved in fidelity to a sacred promise to help a nation which has been the victim of aggression. We are proud of the spirit of our men who are risking their lives on Asian soil. We pray that their sacrifice will be redeemed in an honorable peace and the restoration of a land long torn by war.
We are grateful for the tremendous advances which have been made in our generation in social justice and in equality of opportunity, regardless of racial background. But we are saddened by the civil strife which has occurred in our great cities.
Recognizing the trials we have endured and are enduring, I have turned to the Thanksgiving Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. President Lincoln faced, with equal emphasis, both the blessings and the sorrows of the people.
He recommended to his fellow citizens that, “while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.”
In a similar spirit I ask my fellow citizens to join their thankfulness with penitence and humility. Let us implore Almighty God that, to all our other blessings, He may add the blessings of wisdom and perseverance that will lead us to both peace and justice, in the family of nations and in our beloved homeland.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America in consonance with Section 6103 of title 5 of the United States Code designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 1967 as a day of national thanksgiving.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-second.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

PROCLAMATION 3881, THANKSGIVING DAY, 1968.
NOVEMBER 15, 1968
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A PROCLAMATION
Americans, looking back on the tumultuous events of 1968, may be more inclined to ask God’s mercy and guidance than to offer Him thanks for his blessings.
There are many events in this year that deserve our remembrance, and give us cause for thanksgiving:

the endurance and stability of our democracy, as we prepare once more for an orderly transition of authority;
the renewed determination, on the part of millions of Americans to bridge our divisions;
the beginning of talks with our adversaries, that will, we pray, lead to peace in Vietnam;
the increasing prosperity of our people, including those who were denied any share in America’s blessings in the past;
the achievement of new breakthroughs in medical science, and new victories over disease.

These events inspire not only the deepest gratitude, but confidence that our nation, the beneficiary of good fortune beyond that of any nation in history, will surmount its present trials and achieve a more just society for its people.
In this season, let us offer more than words of thanksgiving to God. Let us resolve to offer Him the best that is within us – tolerance, respect for life, faith in the destiny of all men to live in peace.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, in consonance with Section 6103 of title 5 of the United States Code designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1968 as a day of national thanksgiving.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-third.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

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2 comments on “Thanksgiving Proclamations – Lyndon B. Johnson

  1. Pingback: This Saturday…an American family « whitehothair

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