The first Presidential Thanksgiving was made in 1789 by George Washington, after a gap of about three years, during which there were no national Thanksgiving Proclamations that were made. The timeline of presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations goes like this:
George Washington, John Adams and James Madison made
Thanksgiving Proclamations and there were gaps in between.
No Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations were issued
during this period.
The President has issued Thanksgiving Proclamations
regularly ever since Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Other two presidents that
made proclamations during this period were Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S.
1870-1879: Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes issued Thanksgiving
1880-1889: Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland and
Benjamin Harrison made Thanksgiving Proclamations in 1880s.
1890-1899: Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley
were the Presidents making Thanksgiving proclamations during 1890s.
1900-1909: William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft
made Thanksgiving Proclamations in first decade of 20th century.
1910-1919: William H. Taft and Woodrow Wilson made proclamations during
1920-1929: Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and
Herbert Hoover issued Thanksgiving Proclamations.
1930-1939: Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving
Proclamations in 1930s.
1940-1949: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman were the
Presidents making Thanksgiving proclamations during 1940s.
1950-1959: Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower were the ones to
issue proclamations in 1950s.
1960-1969: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and
Richard Nixon made Thanksgiving Proclamations in 1960s.
1970-1979: Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter made
proclamations during this period.
1980-1989: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush issued
1990-1999: George Bush and William J. Clinton made Thanksgiving
Proclamations in the last decade of 20th century.
2000s: William J. Clinton and George W. Bush have yet made Thanksgiving
proclamations in the 21st century.
Proclamations by Presidents
Abraham Lincoln issued Thanksgiving Proclamation after a gap of several years in 1862. He made an appeal to people to thank God for the victory of the United States forces in ' suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign intervention and invasion.' Next year, Lincoln mentioned the sacrifice of 'life, limb, health, and liberty, incurred by brave, loyal, and patriotic citizens' for these victories and to pray for the sorrowful and bereaved families of the victims of this 'domestic affliction in every part of the country.
Proclamations Before Lincoln
It was in 1789, when the first National Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation was made by George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. Thanksgiving was celebrated on last Thursday of November that year. The President made the next Thanksgiving proclamation six years later in 1795.