EXTRA: Presidents Washington & Lincoln Order Nation to Give Thanks to God
(CNSNews.com) – The historical record shows that from the beginning of the United States as a nation, Thanksgiving has been about giving thanks to God. Our Founding Fathers – and subsequent presidents – apparently did not hesitate to call Americans as a nation to pray to God, give thanks for our blessings, and repent of our shortcomings and sins.
On Oct. 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks” to be observed “by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
The newly chartered nation was to celebrate its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution by giving thanks to God, and to, as Washington put it, “beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions.”
Washington also prompted men to pray to God “to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally…