Thanksgiving 1906: President Theodore Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
“The time of year has come when, in accordance with the wise custom of our forefathers, it becomes my duty to set aside a special day of thanksgiving and praise to the Almighty because of the blessings we have received, and of prayer that these blessings may be continued. Yet another year of widespread well-being has past. Never before in our history or in the history of any other nation has a people enjoyed more abounding material prosperity than is ours; a prosperity so great that it should arouse in us no spirit of reckless pride, and least of all a spirit of heedless disregard of our responsibilities; but rather a sober sense of our many blessings, and a resolute purpose, under Providence, not to forfeit them by any action of our own.
“Material well-being, indispensable tho it is, can never be anything but the foundation of true national greatness and happiness. If we build nothing upon this foundation, then our national life will be as meaningless and empty as a house where only the foundation has been laid. Upon our material well-being must be built a superstructure of individual and national life lived in accordance with the laws of the highest morality, or else our prosperity itself will in the long run turn out a curse instead of a blessing. We should be both reverently thankful for what we have received, and earnestly bent upon turning it into a means of grace and not of destruction.
“Accordingly I hereby set apart Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of November, next, as a day of thanksgiving and supplication, on which the people shall meet in their homes or their churches, devoutly to acknowledge all that has been given them, and to pray that they may in addition receive the power to use these gifts aright.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixt.
“Done at the City of Washington this 22nd day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-first.”
By the President: Elihu Root / Secretary of State.
October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919
With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the youngest President in the Nation’s history. He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.
He took the view that the President as a “steward of the people” should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the Constitution.” I did not usurp power,” he wrote, “but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.”
Theodore Roosevelt was governor of New York before becoming U.S. vice president. At age 42, Roosevelt became the youngest man to assume the U.S. presidency after President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He won a second term in 1904. Known for his anti-monopoly policies and ecological conservationism, Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War.
G. D. Williams © 2019
Menu-Thanksgiving Day…A peanut doll dressed in blue and white crepe paper in Puritan costume, holding a few heads of wheat, makes an appropriate and dainty Thanksgiving favor. Decorate the table with autumn leaves. Corn, husked and tied together, is most effective, suspended here and there from the walls and between the doors. As Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when all America gives praise for prosperity and freedom, an unusually well-filled board is not only in good taste, but is expected. To make a unique Thanksgiving dessert, cut a small pumpkin across the top. Carefully scoop out the inside. Place on a dish and fill with Floating Island; replace the pumpkin top. Garnish the platter with generous sprigs of autumn leaves, and on these lay a variety of sliced cakes.
Menu: Breakfast: Grapes, Oatmeal, Country Sausages, Scrambled Eggs, Browned Potatoes, Entier Wheat Griddle Cakes, Maple Syrup, Coffee.
Dinner: Oysters on the Half Shell, Mutton Broth, Celery, Turkey, stuffed with oysters, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Squash, Boiled Onions, with cream sauce, Peach Pickles, Waldorf Salad, Cheese Wafer, Mince Pie, Pudding, Puritan Style, Nuts, Fruit, Coffee.
Supper: Cold Roast Turkey, Tea Biscuits, Cottage Cheese, Sweet Tomato Pickles, Thanksgiving Cake, Fruit Glace, Tea.
As this is a day of general rejoicing, see that the poor are not forgotten. Don’t forget the adage, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.””
—The Blue Ribbon Cook Book, Annie R. Gregory [Monarch Book Company:Chicago IL] 1906 (p. 32)