Some say that Thanksgiving Day really began with the Pilgrims and the Indians giving thanks for their survival and their harvest. Others note that in
1863 during the dark days of the civil war, among his many other proclamations , Abraham Lincoln responded to the exhortations of a women’s magazine editor, Sarah Joseph Hale, and announced that there would be a national Day of Thanks on the last Thursday of November. Still others point to 1941 as the date when the U. S. Congress voted into law that the fourth Thursday of November would be a nationally recognized as Thanksgiving Day. For as long as American colonists or citizens have been giving thanks they have struggled to come up with just the right words to express the day. Perhaps reflecting on these Best Thanksgiving Day Quotes can help you to spruce up your own offering.
Words From Honest Abe. Abraham Lincoln was so overwhelmed with his responsibilities as President of the United States during the American Civil War, that it is unlikely that he would have made the move to issue a national proclamation regarding Thanksgiving Day if left to his own devices.
But for many years, one Sarah Joseph Hale, an editor of a prominent women’s magazine, had made it her personal mission to take the issue of a national day of thanks to succeeding occupants of the office of the presidency. When she came to Lincoln she was at last successful. It might have been that Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation establishing the last Thursday of November as a day of national thanks in 1963 in part because that was the historic year in which the tide of battle seemed to turn in favor of the Union cause at the Battle of Gettysburg. But reading Lincoln’s words in the official proclamation one can see that there was more to the thankfulness in the soul of this president than simply gratitude for victory in war.
In the proclamation establishing Thanksgiving day offered in 1863 Lincoln said in part ” I do therefor invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise, to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” While those arguing for church /state separation today might raise their eyebrows over this obvious intertwining the proclamation went into effect . Those official words regarding Thanksgiving Day remain a part of our Thanksgiving history.
Book of Psalms. It is not surprising that one of the more common quotations intoned on Thanksgiving Day comes from the Old Testament Book of Psalms. In that spiritual book, used mutually by Christians and Jews as a inspired book of prayer come words appropriate for Thanksgiving. They are drawn from the 100 Psalm: 4, 5a
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name . For the Lord is good.”
This simple recognition of the goodness of a supreme being and our need for gratitude has been part of religious ceremonies in many different congregations and denominations for more than 2000 years. It is natural that it is often incorporated in our national Thanksgiving Day prayers and is recognized as one of the best Thanksgiving Day Quotes .
For Lovers of Literature. For those who like to find words of wisdom amidst the pages of world literature, one need look no further than the prolific William Shakespeare to discover words worthy of sharing on the topic of thankfulness. Shakespeare wrote plays that were comedies, tragedies and histories that have survived through 4 centuries of performance and critique. Of course he wrote something worthwhile to quote about “thanks giving”. We have these words from the bard of Stratford-on-Avon.
“O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”
No there’s a sentence that will fit in with even the most high brow company around any Thanksgiving Day table.
These words come from the Psalm 100
On the Light Side. Not everyone who gathers with you to celebrate this Thanksgiving may fell like going through the history of the holiday, getting spiritual in public or waxing poetic with Shakespeare. You may have a guest or two who knows what Thanksgiving is all about but would rather just share a bit of humor. You can be ready with this Erma Bombeck aside.
“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”
The best Thanksgiving Day Quotes are ones that take into consideration not our own need to be clever but our wish to make our guests truly thankful to be sharing thanksgiving in our company.