Proclamation 4170—Thanksgiving Day, 1972
By the President of the United States Of America
When the first settlers gathered to offer their thanks to the God who had protected them on the edge of a wilderness, they established anew on American shores a thanksgiving tradition as old as Western man himself.
From Moses at the Red Sea to Jesus preparing to feed the multitudes, the Scriptures summon us to words and deeds of gratitude, even before divine blessings are fully perceived. From Washington kneeling at Valley Forge to the prayer of an astronaut circling the moon, our own history repeats that summons and proves its practicality.
Today, in an age of too much fashionable despair, the world more than ever needs to hear America’s perennial harvest message: "Take heart! Give thanks! To see clearly about us is to rejoice; and to rejoice is to worship the Father; and to worship Him is to receive more blessings still."
At this Thanksgiving time our country can look back with special gratitude across the events of a year which has brought more progress toward lasting peace than any other year for a generation past; and we can look forward with trust in Divine Providence toward the opportunities which peace will bring.
Truly our cup runs over with the bounty of God—our lives, our liberties, and our loved ones; our worldly goods and our spiritual heritage; the beauty of our land, the breadth of our horizons, and the promise of peace that crowns it all. For all of this, let us now humbly give thanks.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America in consonance with Section 6103 of Title 5 of the United States Code designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 1972, as a day of national thanksgiving. I call upon all Americans to assemble in homes and places of worship on this day, to join in offering gratitude for the countless blessings our people enjoy, and to embrace the elderly and less fortunate as special celebrants in the day’s events, loving them as we have been loved.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-seventh.
Richard Nixon, Proclamation 4170—Thanksgiving Day, 1972 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/255836