Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3687—Thanksgiving Day, 1965

November 10, 1965

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our nation during the past 12 months, it is a small thing to give thanks to Almighty God.

When the pilgrims first observed Thanksgiving nearly 350 years ago, life was harsh and unrelenting. Cold and sickness had diminished their ranks. Their shelter was crude. Their future was uncertain. Yet when their harvest was abundant, they considered themselves blessed--and their hearts were filled with gratitude.

Today we have much more than an abundant harvest. Our nation is rich and strong and united in the cause of liberty and justice. Our physical comforts are unmatched anywhere in the world. Our medicine has conquered ancient diseases.

In the past year we have added greatly to that national legacy. We have guaranteed the right to vote to all our citizens. We have pledged dignity to our elderly--even in sickness. We have added new dimensions to the education of our youth. We have broadened the horizons of opportunity for our poor. And all the while, we have enjoyed the greatest prosperity in history.

But our real blessings lie not in our bounty. They lie in those steadfast principles that the early pilgrims forged for all generations to come: the belief in the essential dignity of man; the restless search for a better world for all; and the courage--as shown by our sons in Viet-Nam today--to defend the cause of freedom wherever on earth it is threatened.

These are the eternal blessings of America. They are the blessings which make us grateful even when the future is uncertain. They are the blessings which give us the strength to complete the unfinished tasks that remain before us.

For these blessings should we thank God most of all.

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 25, 1965, as a day of national Thanksgiving.

On that day, let us gather in our homes and in our places of worship to thank God for His generosity. Let us make ourselves worthy of that generosity by pledging to Him our everlasting devotion. And let us pray to Him that the forces of violence, indifference and intolerance may soon vanish from the face of the earth so that peace and understanding and love may reign supreme.

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 tenth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:


Secretary of State

Note: The proclamation was released at Austin, Texas

Released November 11, 1965. Dated November 10, 1965

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3687—Thanksgiving Day, 1965 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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