About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Thanksgiving Proclamation In The Year Of The Independence Of The United States Of America The One Hundred & Twenty-First

On November 4, 1896 President Grover Cleveland issued Proclamation 388 - Thanksgiving Day, 1896 to the people of the United States - the same people our Constitution has to do with.

President Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms as president & governed in the mold of our founders.  He emphasized economic freedom & economic liberalism following the teachings of John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, & Adam Smith.

In this regard President Cleveland promoted laissez-faire capitalism, fiscal discipline, opposition to high-tariff protectionism, & the gold standard.  He used his veto power more than any previous president to control Congress's growing spending appetite, often citing our founding principles of limited government & personal responsibility as the reason for his veto.  In vetoing spending bills that Congress intended for purely local or regional benefit & not for the "general Welfare of the United States" (i.e., national welfare), President Cleveland was following the example of virtually every president before him especially our best president James Monroe & our first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the nation's financial system.

In order to sustain the excellence of a self reliant citizenry that he gave thanks for, President Cleveland believed that it is the neighborliness & charity of fellow countrymen that should be relied upon to relieve local misfortunes of fellow citizens & not government dependent handouts.

Below is President Cleveland's message to Congress during his first administration highlighting what he perceived as the injustice of taking more money from the people than the government needed to pay its operating expenses as delineated in the Constitution.

"When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice ... The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people's tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people's use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country's development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder."
Cleveland's third annual message to Congress,
December 6, 1887.

In selecting this Thanksgiving Day proclamation, that has been an annual observance on RTE since starting the observance in 2014 thanks to One America News Network, I was particularly struck by President Cleveland's thanks "for our defense against disease & pestilence during the year that has passed."  

Grover Cleveland - 24th President of the United States: 1893 ‐ 1897

Proclamation 388—Thanksgiving Day, 1896

November 04, 1896

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The people of the United States should never be unmindful of the gratitude they owe the God of Nations for His watchful care, which has shielded them from dire disaster and pointed out to them the way of peace and happiness. Nor should they ever refuse to acknowledge with contrite hearts their proneness to turn away from God's teachings and to follow with sinful pride after their own devices.

To the end that these thoughts may be quickened it is fitting that on a day especially appointed we should join together in approaching the Throne of Grace with praise and supplication.

Therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, president of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the 26th day of the present month of November, to be kept and observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer throughout our land.

On that day let all our people forego their usual work and occupation, and, assembled in their accustomed places of worship, let them with one accord render thanks to the Ruler of the Universe for our preservation as a nation and our deliverance from every threatened danger, for the peace that has dwelt within our boundaries, for our defense against disease and pestilence during the year that has passed, for the plenteous rewards that have followed the labors of our husbandmen, and for all the other blessings that have been vouch safer to us.

And let us, through the mediation of Him who has taught us how to pray, implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuation of heavenly favor.

Let us not forget on this day of thanksgiving the poor and needy, and by deeds of charity let our offerings of praise be made more acceptable in the sight of the Lord.

Witness my hand and the seal of the United States, which I have caused to be hereto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 4th day of November, A. D. 1896, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and twenty-first.


By the President:


Secretary of State.

Grover Cleveland, Proclamation 388—Thanksgiving Day, 1896 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/205596


  1. Hi Doug,

    I just read your latest post of the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Wanted to say thank you! It lifted my spirits about an otherwise gloomy prospect of yet another national or religious holiday cancelled. We used to have a huge Thanksgiving Day feast and the whole family would come. We would have a house full of people and we had great times.

    This year it will be different. More introspective I guess.

    Who would have thought when we were last together in the beginning of March 2020 our lives and our country could have changed so much?

    I hope that you and Carol have a good Thanksgiving day.

  2. Ahem, and he was a Democrat to boot!

    A bit of a difference from today's Democrat.

    Unless people, regardless if they thought of themselves as Rs or Ds, who believe in moderate government, economic freedom and some fiscal sanity start banding together and put out the corruption in DC we are in for a very ugly period.

    Sooner rather than later.

    Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and please wish Carol the same.

    1. I was waiting to see who would be the first to know President Cleveland was a Democrat. It does not surprise me that you were first DC.

  3. Thank God for presidents that believed in and relied on God!

  4. Just read your RTE on the origin of Thanksgiving Day. Very interesting information. Hope you and Carol have a great Thanksgiving Day