Proclamation 1316—Thanksgiving Day, 1915
It has long been the honoured custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings and mercies to us as a nation. The year that is now drawing to a close since we last observed our day of national thanksgiving has been, while a year of discipline because of the mighty forces of war and of change which have disturbed the world, also a year of special blessing for us.
Another year of peace has been vouchsafed us; another year in which not only to take thought of our duty to ourselves and to mankind but also to adjust ourselves to the many responsibilities thrust upon us by a war which has involved almost the whole of Europe. We have been able to assert our rights and the rights of mankind without breach of friendship with the great nations with whom we have had to deal; and while we have asserted rights we have been able also to perform duties and exercise privileges of succour and helpfulness which should serve to demonstrate our desire to make the offices of friendship the means of truly disinterested and unselfish service. Our ability to serve all who could avail themselves of our services in the midst of crisis has been increased, by a gracious Providence, by more and more abundant crops. our ample financial resources have enabled us to steady the markets of the world and facilitate necessary movements of commerce which the war might otherwise have rendered impossible; and our people have come more and more to a sober realization of the part they have been called upon to play in a time when all the world is shaken by unparalleled distresses and disasters. The extraordinary circumstances of such a time have done much to quicken our national consciousness and deepen and confirm our confidence in the principles of peace and freedom by which we have always sought to be guided. Out of darkness and perplexity have come firmer counsels of policy and clearer perceptions of the essential welfare of the nation. We have prospered while other peoples were at war, but our prosperity has been vouchsafed us, we believe, only that we might the better perform the functions which war rendered it impossible for them to perform.
Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday the twenty-fifth of November next as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, and invite the people throughout the land to cease from their wonted occupations and in their several homes and places of worship render thanks to Almighty God.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this twentieth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifteen and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and fortieth.
Woodrow Wilson, Proclamation 1316—Thanksgiving Day, 1915 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206663