Archive for Monday, November 21, 2011

100 years ago: Kansas governor issues Thanksgiving proclamation

November 21, 2011


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 21, 1911:

"W. R. Stubbs, governor of Kansas, is convinced that the world is getting better every day. Therefore he suggests that all Kansans give thanks. Lawrence will be able to have a real Thanksgiving this year, for there are no football games to call the people away from their homes. Here is the Governor's proclamation. 'The Pilgrim Fathers established the beautiful custom of offering thanks to an All-Wise Providence for bountiful crops and general well being as long ago as 1621 -- the year following their coming to this new haven of religious tolerance.... Up until the close of the revolutionary war the Colonies retained the custom by common consent and annually devoted one late fall day to its observance. In 1863 President Lincoln renewed its usage by presidential Proclamation. Annually, since then, it has been our great privilege to set aside this day and keep it in a befitting manner. During the year about to close Kansas has been wonderfully blessed with splendid harvests.... Therefore I, W. R. Stubbs, Governor of Kansas, do hereby designate and proclaim the day set apart by President Taft, namely Thursday, November 30th, 1911, a holiday and general day of Thanksgiving throughout the state.'"


mr_right_wing 3 years, 10 months ago

Lincoln's proclamation makes it clear that Thanksgiving is a Christian observance....Governor Stubbs doesn't make that the least bit clear.

voevoda 3 years, 10 months ago

It would be a shame to designate Thanksgiving as a "Christian observance," because that would make it impossible for non-Christian Americans to observe it. Surely that's not what you would like to see, mr_right_wing?

Sarah St. John 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry, Mr. RW. I had to edit Gov. Stubbs' proclamation because the print of the original article was obscured and not completely readable. However, what I've reprinted here is representative of the whole, with its mention of an "All-Wise Providence." If my sources are correct and my reading not in error, neither Stubbs' nor the original 1863 proclamation by Lincoln specifically mention Jesus Christ, which I believe would be necessary to make it a Christian holiday, would it not?

Interested readers can see the original Lincoln proclamation here:

Additional tidbit: My ancestress Sarah Josepha Buell Hale is the one who pushed for Thanksgiving being a national holiday. She pestered five different presidents with a persistent letter-writing campaign, and Lincoln finally agreed.

Tee 3 years, 10 months ago

Pestered? Are you implying that our family has a strain of something other than diligence and persistence running through it? ;)

Sarah St. John 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey, when it comes to communicating with lawmakers, knowing how to pester is a good thing!! :-)

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