Thanksgiving with George Washington

St Paul's Chapel New York (Wikimedia Commons)
St. Paul’s Chapel, New York (Wikimedia Commons)

Setting aside one day to give national thanks to God for the blessings of the prior year and beseech him for future blessings had been frequently practiced in England, but it merged with several Puritan traditions in New England during the 17th century.  By the time of the American Revolution, Thanksgiving was a well-established custom.   The Second Continental Congress turned a regional tradition into a national one when offered its first Thanksgiving Proclamation on November 1, 1777, recommending that the individual states of the new United States set apart December 18th as a day of Thanksgiving and praise.  During the Revolution, Congress continued the practice, issuing its last proclamation in 1784.

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