Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3627—Thanksgiving Day

November 13, 1964

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

As the harvest season draws to a close and our storehouses bulge with the bounty of the land, it is our desire to observe, in the custom and tradition of our forebears, a special day dedicated to giving thanks to God--a day on which to lay aside our daily tasks and cares and pay joyous homage to Him. We are impelled to raise our voices in His praise and to proclaim our heartfelt gratitude for another year in which we have been blessed with a bountiful harvest, with intellectual, humanitarian, economic, scientific, and technical advances and achievements, and with other gains too numerous to mention.

Although we have been blessed with unsurpassed prosperity, we recognize that poverty and want exist throughout the world--even among us--and we pledge ourselves to the eradication of those evils.

We know, too, that the foundation for a peaceful world is still to be built and that even now armed strife exists in parts of the world. We are saddened that gallant men of our Armed Services have fallen in the eternal quest for peace with freedom, dignity, and justice for all. We share with their bereaved families and friends a sense of tragic loss. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, we resolve "that these honored dead shall not have died in vain," and vow that their loss will spur us ever onward until man's great dream of universal peace is realized.

Yet we are filled with an instinctive impulse to give thanks for

--our free society of free men, free institutions, and free elections;

--our freedom of speech, our freedom of the press, and our freedom to worship as our conscience dictates;

--our emphasis upon the dignity, equality, and worth of man;

--our humanitarian instincts;

--our unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;

--our confidence in our ability to meet the challenges of today and of the future.

For these are the things that set us apart as a Nation--that made our Nation great-that will keep our Nation great.

So as our forefathers in Virginia, in New England, and throughout this land have done for more than three and one-half centuries, let us appoint a special day on which all of us, in keeping with the dictates of our own conscience, will give thanks to the Lord for His manifold blessings. And on that day, let us rededicate ourselves to meeting the challenges of the present with the fortitude and faith with which our forefathers met the challenges of the past.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, 55 Stat. 862 (5 U.S.C. 87b), designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 1964, as a day of national thanksgiving.

On that day, let us gather in our homes and in our places of worship and in other suitable places to give thanks to God for His graciousness and His generosity to us-to pledge to Him our everlasting devotion-to beseech His divine guidance and the wisdom and strength to recognize and follow that guidance--and to pray to Him that the forces of evil, violence, indifference, intolerance, and inhumanity may soon vanish from the face of the earth and that peace, reason, understanding, and goodwill may reign supreme throughout the world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-ninth.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:


Secretary of State

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3627—Thanksgiving Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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