A Thanksgiving proclamation written in 1936 by Connecticut Gov. Wilbur L. Cross was issued when the country was in the depths of the Great Depression and after the state had endured the worst flood in its history, leaving 14,000 people homeless.
His proclamation, below, brought comfort to many and was memorized by schoolchildren. It is frequently reprinted today in newspapers across the country as a source of hope and inspiration to help people get through tough times.
Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year.
In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the 26th of November, as a day of Public Thanksgiving.
For the blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved state with the favored regions of earth.
For all the creature comforts: the yield of the soil that has fed us and the richer yield from labor of every kind that has sustained our lives.
And for all those things, as dear as breath to the body, that quicken man’s faith in his manhood, that nourish and strengthen his spirit to do the great work still before him:
For the brotherly word and act;
For honor held above price;
For steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth;
For liberty and for justice freely granted by each to his fellow and so as freely enjoyed;
And for the crowning glory and mercy of peace upon our land — that we may humbly take heart of these blessings as we gather once again with solemn and festive rites to keep our Harvest Home.
— Gov. Wilbur L. Cross