President Ronald Reagan's 1984 Thanksgiving Proclamation
As we remember the faith and values that made America great, we should recall that our tradition of Thanksgiving is older than our Nation itself. Indeed, the native American Thanksgivings antedated those of the new Americans. In the words of the eloquent Seneca tradition of the Iroquois, "... give it your thought, that with one mind we may now give thanks to Him our Creator."
From the first Pilgrim observance in 1621, to the nine years before and during the American Revolution when the Continental Congress declared days of Fast and Prayer and days of Thanksgiving, we have turned to Almighty God to express our gratitude for the bounty and good fortune we enjoy as individuals and as a nation. America truly has been blessed.
This year we can be especially thankful that real gratitude to God is inscribed, not in proclamations of government, but in the hearts of all our people who come from every race, culture, and creed on the face of the Earth. And as we pause to give thanks for our many gifts, let us be tempered by humility and by compassion for those in need, and let us reaffirm through prayer and action our determination to share our bounty with those less fortunate.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in the spirit and tradition of the Iroquois, the Pilgrims, the Continental Congress, and past Presidents, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 1984, as a day of National Thanksgiving. I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship to celebrate, in the words of 1784, "with grateful hearts . . . the mercies and praises of their all Bountiful Creator. "
The American Presidency Project, University of California Santa Barbara, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/proclamation-5269-thanksgiving-day-1984.