Thanksgiving, 1789

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ktn4eg, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. ktn4eg

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    Nov 19, 2004
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    Here are some quotes from an article by Melanie Kirkpatrick that appeared in the 11/21/2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal on p A15. (Since it's from a copyrighted source, "BB Rules" state that we're not supposed to quote the item in its entirety, thus I'll do my best to paraphase/abbreviate it.):

    It's hard to imagine America's favorite holiday as a source of political controversy, but that was the case in 1789, the year of our first Tnxgiving as a nation [i.e., under the newly-ratified COTUS].

    The controversy began on 9/25 in NYC, then the seat of govt. The 1st Congr was about to recess when Rep Boudinot introduced a resolution asking the House to create a joint cmte w/the Sen to "wait upon the POTUS, to request that he'd recommend to the people of the US a day of public tnxgiving & prayer be observed by acknowledging, w/grateful hearts, the many favors of Almighty God."

    He ref'd to the COTUS, which'd been ratified by the requisite 2/3ds of the states in 1788. A day of public tnxgiving would allow Americans to express gratitude to God for the "opportunity peaceably to establish a govt under the COTUS for their safety & happiness."

    His resolution sparked vigorous debate: SC's Rep Burke objected on the grounds that a Tnxgiving was too European. He "didn't like this mimicking of Eur customs, where they'd made a mere mockery of Tnxgivings." Rep Tucker (a fellow SC-nian) raised more objections: 1) "Why should the POTUS direct the people to do what, perhaps, they'd no mind to do?" he asked. "If a day of tnxgiving must take place, let it be done by the authority of the several States," & 2) Proclaiming a day of Tnxgiving "is a religious matter, &, proscribed to us."

    It fell to CT's Sherman to stand up in support of Tnxgiving. He praised Boudinot's resolution as "laudable." It was warranted by Biblical precendents, e.g., "the tnxgivings in Solomon's time after the temple was built."

    In the end, the Tnxgiving res passed & the HOR appt'd a cmte. The res moved to the Sen, which passed it & added its own mems to the cmte.

    The cmte then took the res to POTUS Washington, & on 10/3 he issued the now-famous Tnxgiving Proc. He designated 11/26/1789 as "a day of public tnxgiving & prayer," asking Americans to render their "sincere & humble tnx" to God for "His kind care & protection of this Country's people."

    This was Washington's 1st POTUS proclamation, & it was well heeded. Citing Washington's papers, it was "widely celebrated all over the US." Papers throughout the US published his proclamation & plans for public functions in its honor. Church services were held, w/many of them soliciting donations for the poor.

    Washington, keenly aware of his role for future POTUS's, remarked that "There's nothing in my conduct which may not hereafter be considered precedent," including his 1789 Tnxgiving Proclamation---setting the standard for future POTUS's up to the present day.


    Just thought some of us here in BB Land would like to know what some of this Republic's founders of some 220+ years ago were thinking.
  2. Oldtimer

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    Dec 6, 2011
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    Thank you.

    We, especially the younger generations, need to see and hear more of this. Especially, how the government is so far removed, today, from the vision that was created by our founding fathers.

    Giving thanks.

    And, most of all, giving thanks to our Creator for ALL that He has provided. Including the very air we breathe.

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