Thanksgiving in New York

In 1789, President George Washington in New York City issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation by the national government. In it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s War of Independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Washington noted that the day should be one of prayer and giving thanks to God. It was a day to be celebrated by all the religious denominations. It was to be celebrated “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” Listen to the full proclamation:

A special creative vision in Lower Manhattan features George Washington in prayer, a work that highlights the profound spirituality of America’s first President:

Bronze relief sculpture installed at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan showing George Washington in prayer.

Today, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan is the cultural focus for the Thanksgiving Celebration in the United States.

In 2019, over 3.5 million people experienced the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan’s Midtown and Upper West Side. This year, the 94th celebration will only be televised with over 50 million tuning in to watch from the comfort and safety of their homes. Learn more about it here.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float “Tom Turkey.” This is the lead float and traditionally goes down the parade route with its wings flapping, eyes rolling and head bobbing accompanied by dancing showgirls and cheerleaders.

Through George Washington and the cultural displays of today’s celebration, we can creatively visualize a world marked by abundance and full of possibilities. Always thankful for the never-ending creative character manifested in New York!

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