In recognition of Thanksgiving, look back at a page of Iowa history when, on Thursday, November 3, 1876, Gov. Samuel J. Kirkwood signed his proclamation calling for a day of thanksgiving and praise in Iowa on Thursday, November 30, 1876.
In compliance with the custom established by our Fathers and so often repeated by their grateful children, I request the people of this State to observe
Thursday, the Thirtieth Day of November,
As a day of thanksgiving and praise. And I do earnestly recommend that we, as a people, cease from our accustomed pursuits and rest from the turmoil of our daily lives in reverential acknowledgment of our dependence upon the mercy and goodness of Divine Providence.
It is befitting that in this particular year we should renew our covenant with Almighty God and render all praise for the blessings of a free government; for the continued prosperity of our State and Nation; for the blessings of peace and our exemption from pestilence, famine, or other national calamity; for our progress in knowledge and liberal Christian sentiments; for the generous manner in which the earth has responded to the labor of the husbandman; for the substantial increase of industrial enterprises; and for the increasing evidence of our advancement in all that pertains to State and National greatness.
Let us, therefore, on that day assemble at our customary places of public worship, or gather around the family circle, and banish from our hearts all malice and uncharitableness, dedicate ourselves anew to charity and good works; that we may through the influence of such sentiments be better prepared to perform every duty to God and our fellow-men; resist all evil, overcome all temptations and become more devoted to every Christian and patriotic duty.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the GREAT SEAL of the State of Iowa.
Done at the city of Des Moines this third day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy six, and the independence of the United States the one hundred and first, and of the State of Iowa the thirtieth.
SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD