Just like George Washington's First Thanksgiving Proclamation is always worth re-reading every Thanksgiving Day, so are some of those of our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. Here you will find the texts of both his first and his last Thanksgiving Proclamations. Take note of the last, in 1988, where GASP! he quotes scripture.
By the way, I just love the new name that Rush Limbaugh has, in tradition with those from history called great such as Charlemagne or Albertus Magnus, crowned President Reagan with "Ronaldus Magnus" - Ronald The Great.
So if you cringed at 44's proclamation about the stupid helpless white man, as did I, here are two inspirational speeches from a great man who loved his country, Ronaldus Magnus:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A PROCLAMATION
America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our
citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history.
In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving
thanks to god for all of His blessings.
On this day of thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we recall the first
thanksgiving, celebrated in the autumn of 1621. After surviving a bitter winter,
the Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they
gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the
native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were
thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this
abundance of goodwill as well.
In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping
hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program,
this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character.
Americans have always understand that, truly, one must give in order to receive.
This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of
this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday
festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do sass individuals
to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can
only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.
Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played
such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed
as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do
hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 1981, as Thanksgiving Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of November, in
the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
Thanksgiving Day, 1988
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A PROCLAMATION
The celebration of Thanksgiving Day is one of our Nation’s most venerable and
cherished traditions. Almost 200 years ago, the first President of these United
States, George Washington, issued the first national Thanksgiving Day
Proclamation under the Constitution and recommended to the American people that
they "be devoted to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the
beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." He called
upon them to raise "prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of
Nations," not merely for continued blessings on our own land but on all rulers
and nations that they might know "good government, peace, and concord."
A century ago, President Grover Cleveland called for "prayers and song of
praise" that would render to God the appreciation of the American people for His
mercy and for the abundant harvests and rich rewards He had bestowed upon our
Nation through the labor of its farmers, shopkeepers, and tradesmen. Both of
these Proclamations included something else as well: a recognition of our
shortcomings and transgressions and our dependence, in total and in every
particular, on the forgiveness and forbearance of the Almighty.
Today, cognizant of our American heritage of freedom and opportunity, we are
again called to gratitude, thanksgiving, and contrition. Thanksgiving Day
summons every American to pause in the midst of activity, however necessary and
valuable, to give simple and humble thanks to God. This gracious gratitude is
the service of which Washington spoke. It is a service that opens our hearts
to one another as members of a single family gathered around the bounteous table
of God’s Creation. The images of the Thanksgiving celebrations at America’s
earliest settlement - of Pilgrim and Iroquois Confederacy assembled in festive
friendship - resonate with even greater power in our own day. People from every
race, culture, and creed on the face of the Earth now inhabit this land. Their
presence illuminates the basic yearning for freedom, peace, and prosperity that
has always been the spirit of the New World.
In this year when we as a people enjoy the fruits of economic growth and
international cooperation, let us take time both to remember the sacrifices that
have made this harvest possible and the needs of those who do not fully partake
of its benefits. The wonder of our agricultural abundance must be recalled as
the work of farmer who, under the best and worst of conditions, give their all
to raise food upon the land. The gratitude that fills our being must be tempered
with compassion for the needy. The blessings that are ours must be understood as
the gift of a loving God Whose greatest gift is healing.
Let us join then, with the psalmist of old:
"O give thanks to the Lord, call on His
name, Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him, Tell of all His wonderful works!
Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN,
President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November
24, 1988, as a National Day of thanksgiving, and I call upon the citizens of
this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day
of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God
has bestowed upon us.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, in
the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.
Read all 8 of President Reagan's Thanksgiving Proclamations HERE