President: Jimmy Carter
The greatest bounty of our Nation is the bounty of our heritage—
our diversity as immigrants and descendants of immigrants, our common identity as Americans.
We have set aside one day a year to give thanks for al that we have.
Yet Thanksgiving is more than just a day of celebration.
It is also a commemoration–of the day America’s earliest inhabitants sat down to table with European colonists.
ti marked the start of a national tradition of cooperation, unity and tolerance.
Even in times of trial and frustration weh a v e much to be thankful for,
in our personal lives and in our Nation.
As we pause on Thanksgiving to offer thanks to God, we should not forget that we also
owe thanks to this country’s forefathers who had the vision to join together in Thanksgiving,
and who gave us so much of the vision of brotherhood that is ours today.
Icall upon all the people of our Nation to give thanks on that day for the blessings
Almighty God has bestowed upon us, and to join the fervent prayer of George Washington,
who, as President, asked God to “… impart all the blessings we possess,
or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.”
President: William J. Clinton
In 1621, Massachusetts Bay Governor William Bradford invited members of theneighboring Wampanoag tribe to join the Pilgrims
as they celebrated their first harvest in a new land.
This 3-day festival brought people together to delight in the richness of the earth and to give praise for their new friendships and progress.
More than 300 years later, the tradition inspired by that gathering
continues on Thanksgiving Day across America —a holiday thatunites citizens from
every culture, race, and background in common thanks for the gifts we receive from God.