A Grateful Nation Offers Thanks During the Revolutionary War

A Grateful Nation Offers Thanks During the Revolutionary War

Did you know …

General George Washington decided to spend the cold winter at Valley Forge. The army camped about twenty miles away from Philadelphia, which had been captured by England.

Before ordering his soldiers to build cabins as protection against the cold, he gave a Thanksgiving Proclamation on December 17, 1777. He asked the army to thank God for a recent victory, which they did the next day.

hut-420152_1280During the difficult winter, many men grew sick. Food supplies were so low that the soldiers went without meat for three or four days. A shortage of clothing meant that many couldn’t keep warm.

France becomes our friend

General Washington heard the wonderful news on May 2, 1778 – France decided to be a friend to the United States in the war against England. On May 6, he ordered his army to set aside a day for giving thanks to God.

Our nation thanks God for the victory

Many years later, President George Washington declared a Thanksgiving celebration in 1789. It was to be a time to thank God for His many blessings on a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer.

The date chosen for the celebration was Thursday, November 27, 1789. The president reminded the nation to be thankful for peace.

He asked them to pray for our national government so that it would be a blessing to all the people.

So the first official Thanksgiving under our new president was more about thanking God for our many blessings than it was about a large feast.

When we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families, let’s follow President Washington’s example and remember to thank God for helping us.

– Sandra Merville Hart

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