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  • Don Milne

President Roosevelt's Last Peacetime Thanksgiving Day Proclamation


Eighty years ago this week, President Franklin Roosevelt issued what would be his last peacetime Thanksgiving Day proclamation.

A Proclamation

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate and set aside Thursday, the twentieth day of November, 1941, as a day to be observed in giving thanks to the Heavenly Source of our earthly blessings. . . .

. . . On the day appointed for this purpose, let us reflect at our homes or places of worship on the goodness of God and, in giving thanks, let us pray for a speedy end to strife and the establishment on earth of freedom, brotherhood, and justice for enduring time.

(You can read the rest of the proclamation here.)

For thousands of Americans, who would lose their lives in the first year of the war, this was their final Thanksgiving. I am sure you share my gratitude for the sacrifices made by these fallen and their families.

This Thanksgiving season I am thankful for the hundreds of volunteers who are contributing to the success of Stories Behind the Stars.

Thanks to nearly 150 Pearl Harbor volunteers, we are scheduled to have all of the 2,335 Pearl Harbor names assigned out for completion by December 7. The FindAGrave smartphone app upgrade, that will allow people to read these stories at any gravesite or memorial, is also scheduled to be ready by then.

I am thankful for the more than two dozen volunteers who are doing early work on our Arlington National Cemetery project to get that database ready for writers to work on after our Pearl Harbor project is done.


Overall, hundreds of volunteers have written stories for at least 14,000 WWII fallen. It is a great start and by next Thanksgiving I hope it is close to 100,000. Thank you all!

Giving Tuesday

If you participate in Giving Tuesday this November 30, please consider donating to Stories Behind the Stars. We will be focusing on raising funds to renew our customer relationship management platform, Network For Good. It costs us $3,600 a year, but for $10 a day it is a bargain for what it allows us to do.

I will send out a email next Tuesday with more details.

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