BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAA PROCLAMATION
America and the world have changed enormously since the first thanksgiving 353 years ago. From a tiny coastal enclave on an untamed continent, we have grown into the mightiest, freest nation in human history. A civilization whose farthest reach was once the earth’s uncharted seas has now plumbed the secrets of outer space.
But the fundamental meaning of Thanksgiving still remains the same. It is a time when the differences of a diverse people are forgotten and all Americans join in giving thanks to God for the blessings we share - the blessings of freedom, opportunity and abundance that make America so unique.
This year, in the midst of plenty, we still face serious problems and massive challenges. In giving thanks for the many things we hold dear, let us also pray for the courage, resourcefulness and sense of purpose we will need to continue America’s saga of progress, and to be worthy heirs of the Pilgrim spirit. May we, too, find the strength and vision to leave behind us a better world, and an example that will inspire future generations to new achievements.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, in accordance with Section 6103 of Title 5 of the United States Code, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1974, as a day of national thanksgiving.
I call upon all Americans to gather together in homes and places of worship on this date, to join in offering gratitude for the countless blessings our people enjoy, and to share with the elderly and the unfortunate this special day that brings us all closer together.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.