Grover Cleveland Document Signed as President – “My Thanksgiving Proclamation”

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22nd and 24th President.  Document signed (DS) “Grover Cleveland” AS PRESIDENT, November 1, 1888, 8×10, ordering the Secretary of State to “cause the Seal of the United States to be affixed to My Thanksgiving Proclamation….”.

Dark autograph on an incredibly RARE official document related to Thanksgiving.

The first National Thanksgiving was proclaimed in 1789 by George Washington.  Contrary to what most people thing, Thanksgiving was not always celebrated each year.  The second such celebration was not held until 1795.  A few others were called in the following 65 years.  On November 28, 1861, Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation saying, “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving.” The next national Thanksgiving was declared by Lincoln in April 1862, and in 1863 he declared Thanksgivings for both August 6 and the last Thursday in November. He went on to declare a similar Thanksgiving observance in 1864, establishing a precedent that was followed by his successor, Andrew Johnson, who declared a Thanksgiving for December 7, 1865. Johnson gave government employees the day off, making the day a legal holiday. The precedent established by Lincoln has been adhered to by every subsequent president.