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  Archived Posts From: 2014

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Written on: November 24th, 2014 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryInside the DPA

Katie Hallreference archivist

Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving in some form since 1789. President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation in 1863 that Thanksgiving should fall on the last Thursday of November and for the most part, states celebrated the holiday at the end of the month. However, it wasn’t until President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1941 that we began celebrating the holiday on the Fourth Thursday of November. The National Archives has that proclamation available online for all to see.

Between 1863 and 1941, before the day became a national holiday, presidents and state governors made annual Thanksgiving proclamations setting aside the day as one of thanksgiving and reflection. The Governors Papers Collection at the Delaware Public Archives has a nice selection of Thanksgiving proclamations from former Delaware governors’. Some invoke the “early settlers upon our shores, beset by hardships and perils,” like Governor Buck did in 1935:

Governor Buck Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1935 Governors Paper Collection RG 1302.007

 

In 1893, Governor Reynolds saw that Delawareans had been regarding Thanksgiving as “a day for indulgence in riotous living and worldly sports, contrary to the spirit in which the custom originated” and encouraged “the people of this State [to] lay aside all secular occupations” on that day:

Gov. Reynolds Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1893 Governors Papers Collection RG 1302.007

Gov. Reynolds Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1893
Governors Papers Collection
RG 1302.007

 

In a similar vein, in 1901, Governor John Hunn recommended “that on that day all business of whatever character be suspended, and that the people assemble in their accustomed places of public worship, and there render thanks for those inestimable benefits which have been accorded them.”

Gov. Hunn Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1901 Governors Papers Collection RG 1302.007

 

Which proclamation is your favorite?


Delaware Votes

Written on: November 3rd, 2014 in Blog PostsDelaware History

Sarah Denison, processing archivist

Tomorrow Delawareans up and down the state will head to polling places to cast their vote in the midterm election. Not sure who to vote for? For hundreds of years political parties and special-interest groups have issued flyers endorsing candidates. Check out these tickets from the 1800s. They won’t help you make a decision tomorrow, but they might inspire you to follow in the footsteps of generations of Delawareans to get out and vote.

 

Working Mens Republican Reform Ballot, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Working Mens Republican Reform Ballot, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Republican Ballot 1840s, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Republican Ballot 1840s, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Democratic Ballot 1846, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Democratic Ballot 1846, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Sussex County American Republican Ballot 1834, General Reference Collection 9270.001

Sussex County American Republican Ballot 1834, General Reference Collection 9270.001

1874 Farmers Ticket, General Reference Collection 9270.001

1874 Farmers Ticket, General Reference Collection 9270.001

1858 Peoples Ticket,General Reference Collection 9270.001

1858 Peoples Ticket,General Reference Collection 9270.001





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