The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington is a new digital history project that allows users to interact and explore primary source materials and objects from the Mount Vernon collection. Entries focus on the totality of Washington’s life and experiences, while also covering the Mount Vernon Estate, its history, and preservation. The encyclopedia includes entries written by Mount Vernon staff and experts, as well as a team of more than thirty outside scholars of history and related fields. Periodically, encyclopedia entries will be highlighted on this blog.
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, today’s featured encyclopedia entry looks at George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation. As explained by Tammy K. Bryon, Assistant Professor of History at Dalton State College, “Since the settlement of the colonies, Americans were familiar with setting aside days of thanksgiving.” However, in 1789, “President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 … as a national day of thanksgiving to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and the new federal Constitution.” Byron notes that the “1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, however, did not establish a permanent federal holiday.”
Find out more about Washington and Thanksgiving, by reading Dr. Byron’s entry in the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington.
Adam D. Shprintzen, Ph.D.
Editor, Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington