We’re counting down to Thanksgiving at our office. Today we continue our series tracing the history of Thanksgiving.

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation calling on Americans to pray. He opened it by writing, “it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

The proclamation goes on to set aside Thursday, November 26, as a day of prayer and thanksgiving.

Washington’s proclamation is significant, because it is the first call to prayer issued by a U.S. president. Before that, calls for prayer and thanksgiving were issued by Congress or by state governments.

You can read President Washington’s entire proclamation here.

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