Proclamation 494—Thanksgiving Day, 1902
By the President of the United States of America
According to the yearly custom of our people, it falls upon the President at this season to appoint a day of festival and thanksgiving to God.
Over a century and a quarter has passed since this country took its place among the nations of the earth, and during that time we have had on the whole more to be thankful for than has fallen to the lot of any other people. Generation after generation has grown to manhood and passed away. Each has had to bear its peculiar burdens, each to face its special crises, and each has known years of grim trial, when the country was menaced by malice domestic or foreign levy, when the hand of the Lord was heavy upon it in drouth or flood or pestilence, when in bodily distress and anguish of soul it paid the penalty of folly and a froward heart. Nevertheless, decade by decade, we have struggled onward and upward; we now abundantly enjoy material well-being, and under the favor of the Most High we are striving earnestly to achieve moral and spiritual uplifting. The year that has just closed has been one of peace and of overflowing plenty. Rarely has any people enjoyed greater prosperity than we are now enjoying. For this we render heartfelt and solemn thanks to the Giver of Good; and we seek to praise Him not by words only but by deeds, by the way in which we do our duty to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Now, Therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, do hereby designate as a day of general thanksgiving Thursday, the twenty-seventh of the coming November, and do recommend that throughout the land the people cease from their ordinary occupations, and in their several homes and places of worship render thanks unto Almighty God for the manifold blessings of the past year.
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 29th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and two and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-seventh.
By the President:
Secretary of State.
Theodore Roosevelt, Proclamation 494—Thanksgiving Day, 1902 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206886