RN’s 1969 Thanksgiving Proclamation:
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln invited his fellow citizens to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving…” This was the year of the battle of Gettysburg and of other major battles between Americans on American soil. To many, this call for a national day of Thanksgiving must have seemed strange, coming as it did at a time of war and bitterness.
Yet Lincoln knew that the act of thanksgiving should not be limited to time of peace and serenity. He knew that it is precisely at those times of hardship when men most need to recognize that the Source of all good constantly bestows His blessings on mankind.
Today, despite our material wealth and well-being, Americans face complex problems unknown before in our nation’s history. In giving thanks today, we express gratitude for past bounty and we also confidently face the challenges confronting our own nation and the world because we know we can rely on a strength greater than ourselves.
This year, let us especially seek to rekindle in our respective hearts and minds the spirit of our first settlers who valued freedom above all else, and who found much for which to be thankful when material comforts were meager. We are, indeed, a most fortunate people.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard M. Nixon, 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 27, 1969, as a day of national thanksgiving.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred sixty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-fourth.
Photo: November 19, 1969, RN gives annual pardoning of turkey.