National Archives at Boston

Featured Documents of the Month from NARA at Boston

Thanksgiving Message

In the dark days of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt issued a special Thanksgiving proclamation in 1938. It focussed on “the blessings which have been ours during the present year (for which) we have ample cause to be thankful” and it was also intended to stimulate the moribund economy by moving the holiday one week earlier than usual.

Roosevelt would enumerate the reasons Americans could be thankful: “We have lived in peace and understanding with our neighbors and have seen the world escape the impending disaster of a general war. . . . “ but thoughts of peace would be fleeting.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Citation: President Roosevelt Thanksgiving Proclamation, Sent by Secretary of the Navy to all Navy offices, 11/23/1938; A2-8/F, RG 181 Records of the First Naval District, Boston Navy Yard; National Archives (Boston office).