That season has come when, alike in pursuance of a devout people’s time-honored custom and in grateful recognition of favoring national fortunes, it is proper that the President should summon the nation to a day of devotion, of thanksgiving for blessings bestowed, and of prayer for guidance in modes of life that may deserve continuance of Divine favor.
Foremost among our blessings is the return of peace, and the approach to normal ways again. The year has brought us again into relations of amity with all nations, after a long period of struggle and turbulence. In thankfulness therefore, we may well unite in the hope that Providence will vouchsafe approval to the things we have done, the aims which have guided us, the aspirations which have inspired us. We shall be prospered as we shall deserve prosperity, seeking not alone for the material things but for those of the spirit as well; earnestly trying to help others; asking, before all else, the privilege of service. As we render thanks anew for the exaltation which came to us, we may fittingly petition that moderation and wisdom shall be granted to rest upon all who are in authority, in the tasks they must discharge. Their hands will be steadied, their purposes strengthened, in answer to our prayers.
Ours has been a favored nation in the bounty which God has bestowed upon it. The great trial of humanity, though indeed we bore our part as well as we were able, left us comparatively little scarred. It is for us to recognize that we have been thus favored, and when we gather at our altars to offer up thanks, we will do well to pledge, in humility and all sincerity, our purpose to prove deserving. We have been raised up and preserved in national power and consequence, as part of a plan whose wisdom we can not question. Thus believing, we can do no less than hold our nation the willing instrument of the Providence which has so wonderfully favored us. Opportunity for very great service awaits us if we shall prove equal to it. Let our prayers be raised, for direction in the right paths. Under God, our responsibility is great; to our own first, to all men afterward; to all mankind in God’s own justice.
Now, therefore, I, Warren G. Harding, President of the United States of America, hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November, to be observed by the people as a day of Thanksgiving, devotion and prayer; urging that at their hearthsides and their altars they will give thanks for all that has been rendered unto them, and will pray for a continuance of the Divine fortune which has been showered so generously upon this nation.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this thirty-first day of October in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one, and of the independence of the United States OF America the one hundred and forty-sixth.