By the President of the United States of America
Although the first years of America's struggle for independence were often disheartening, our forebears never lost faith in the Creator, in their cause, or in themselves. Upon learning of the American victory at Saratoga in 1777, Samuel Adams composed the first National Thanksgiving proclamation, and the Continental Congress called upon the governors of every state to designate a day when all Americans could join together and express their gratitude for God's providence "with united hearts." By their actions they extended a revered regional custom into a national tradition.
Precisely two centuries have now passed since that time. We have tamed a continent, established institutions dedicated to protecting our liberties, and secured a place of leadership among nations. But we have never lost sight of the principles upon which our Nation was founded. For that reason we can look to the future with hope and confidence.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, in accord with Section 6103 of Title 5 of the United States Code, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 1977, as Thanksgiving Day. I ask all Americans to gather on that day with their families and neighbors in their homes and in their houses of worship to give thanks for the blessings Almighty God has bestowed upon us.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4 p.m., November 11, 1977]