This week kicks off the official holiday season and the start of winter. We think Thanksgiving isn’t just a great American holiday, it’s a Christian holiday!

President George Washington issued the first Presidential proclamation of a National Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1789, to thank God for the new nation, and a few of his successors followed suit.

In the State of New York, Governor John Hancock in 1790 wrote,

 “[I] appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications…that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth.” 

(Read more about this here.)


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Interestingly, Thanksgiving was not a specific day or even month, and apparently each presidential proclamation was issued on the whim of whoever was in office. Second President John Adams issued one in 1799. Sporadically between the years 1789 and 1815, days of Thanksgiving were recognized in January, March, April, October, and November. This recognition of Thanksgiving ended in 1815 following President James Madison‘s term. It would be forty-six years before another American president would issue a Thanksgiving proclamation.

That President was Jefferson Davis, who proclaimed a day of thanks, humiliation, and prayer for the Confederate States of America for October 31st, 1861. He issued another in 1862. Not to be outdone, President Abraham Lincoln resurrected the forgotten day in the United States as well, and issued a similar proclamation in April of 1862.

Today on our program, Dr. Jake Jacobs shares his unique historical perspective on where we’ve come from and we are headed.  Jake’s passion and ministry is to teach, preach, proclaim those roots in Churches Seminars across America.  He also speaks to civic groups and partners with Freedom Project Education. Check out his Facebook Page and his Blog!