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Washington’s January 1, 1795 Thanksgiving Proclamation

American History, Presidential Proclamations

Because nearly all American colonies under British control had established state churches,[1] America’s Founding Fathers were not willing to raise issues that would unnecessarily divide them in their efforts to establish a stable government. For this reason, a promise was made not to establish a federal or national church when writing the Constitution and amended Bill of Rights. However, as the following proclamation demonstrates, America’s Founders were not ashamed of their Christian Faith. The history behind the proclamation and its observance by President Washington will...Read more... Read more... -->

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"This Congress, therefore, considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state of these colonies, do earnestly recommend that Thursday, the 20th day of July next, be observed, by the inhabitants of all the English colonies on this continent, as a day of public humiliation, fasting and prayer... "
– Congressional Prayer Proclamation
Journals of Congress, 2:87-88.
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