Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

washington prayer

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have …read more    

President Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Promoted from the diaries by Jake

It’s a tradition of mine to re-read the first Presidential proclamation declaring a day of Thanksgiving, so I figured I’d share with all of you. The proclamation was actually written by SecState William H. Seward, and is in his handwriting.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to …read more    

EPA Proposes Its Most Expensive Regulation to Date

epa-map

The strategy of publicly releasing bad news late on a Friday afternoon in order to avoid significant media scrutiny is well established and commonly employed by a variety of institutions. For example, corporations may elect to bury a bad earnings report or government bodies may release unflattering documents just before the weekend when people are paying the least amount of attention. The popular television show The West Wing notably referred to Fridays as “Take out the trash day.”

Although today is not a Friday, it is the day before what will be a four-day holiday weekend for many Americans. While most people will understandably be focusing on celebrating Thanksgiving with their families, the White House plans to quietly release plans for 3,415 new regulations, 189 of which will cost more than $100 million apiece.

Perhaps the most onerous proposal in terms of cost and breadth is a plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose more stringent ozone regulations under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) section of the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule would specifically lower the current threshold for ozone pollution from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 65 to 70 ppb. EPA, however, plans to also seek public comment on a 60 ppb plan endorsed by many environmental groups, meaning the final rule could become even more severe.

Ground-level ozone is a respiratory irritant that is derived from the burning of fossil fuels and is a leading cause of smog. Ozone is not directly emitted directly in the air but is created by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOX and VOC.

EPA’s proposal could immediately plunge 76 to 96 percent of the country into NAAQS-nonattainment, including some federally protected national parks. As a result, virtually every state’s ability to develop industry would be seriously jeopardized because emissions from each new stationary source would have to be “offset” with emissions reductions elsewhere in the nonattainment area. In practice, this means that industrial development becomes a zero-sum game, whereby every new business requires the closure of existing business.

NAAQS-nonattainment also imposes significant burdens on drivers since state regulators will typically develop new rules to reduce vehicular emissions such as (1) vehicle inspection/maintenance programs, …read more