President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony 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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,

Secretary of State

In Memoriam: S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald June 7, 1958 – November 10, 1975

Memorial to be Streamed This Year for Public

On November 10th, 1975, the Great Lakes community lost 29 brave crew members of the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald as ship and crew were declared lost to Lake Superior during a severe November storm.

The 47th annual S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Ceremony will be a closed event limited to surviving family members of the lost crew and those that took part in the rescue effort.  However, those still wishing to pay their respects can view the event via live stream and on local TV.  Please visit the Edmund Fitzgerald Ceremony website for more details.

At approximately 7:10pm on November 10, please hold a moment of silence and imagine the Mighty Fitz’s bell solemnly toll for the 29 souls lost.

Ernest McSorley — Captain

John McCarthy — First mate

James Pratt — Second mate

Michael Armagost — Third mate

David Weiss — Cadet

Ransom Cundy — Watchman

Karl Peckol — Watchman

William Spengler — Watchman

John Simmons — Senior wheelman

Eugene O’Brien — Wheelman

John Poviach — Wheelman

Paul Riippa — Deckhand

Mark Thomas — Deckhand

Bruce Hudson — Deckhand

George Holl — Chief engineer

Edward Bindon — First assistant engineer

Thomas Edwards — Second assistant engineer

Russell Haskell — Second assistant engineer

Oliver Champeau — Third assistant engineer

Ralph Walton — Oiler

Blaine Wilhelm — Oiler

Thomas Bentsen — Oiler

Gordon MacLellan — Wiper

Robert Rafferty — Steward

Allen Kalmon — Second steward

Joseph Mazes — Special maintenance man

Thomas Borgeson — Maintenance man

Frederick Beetcher — Porter

Nolan Church — Porter

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep,
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep,
O hear us when we cry to thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace,
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.

Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair.


by Olim Hodie, The Chicago Times

July 18-19, 1969

CHAPPAQUIDDICK ISLAND, MA – Democrat Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Mass) recklessly crashes into pond and kills 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne on Chappaquiddick Island.  Kennedy also failed to report accident until following morning when crash was discovered.

Kennedy and Kopechne left a party on Chappaquiddick at 11:15 p.m. on Friday.  Kennedy claimed he intended to drive Kopechne to a ferry landing and then back to Edgartown, but that he made a wrong turn onto a dirt road leading to a one-lane bridge by accident.  Kennedy swam free after his car skidded off the bridge into Poucha Pond and claimed he tried but failed to save Kopechne from the submerged car.  Kopechne could have been killed anytime between 11:30 p.m. Friday and 1 a.m. Saturday, according to an off-duty deputy sheriff who claimed to have seen a car matching Kennedy’s at 12:40 a.m.  Kennedy fled the scene and did not contact authorities until after 10 a.m. Saturday after he received news that a diver recovered Kopechne’s body from Kennedy’s car shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday.


by The Chicago Times Staff

July 11, 2021

Sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japanese Forces Dec 7, 1941.

WASHINGTON — According to US documents, the remains of Japan’s World War II prime minister were scattered across the Pacific Ocean after his execution.  Officials were concerned that supporters of Hideki Tojo, one of the men responsible for the 1941 Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, would try to locate his body and treat him as a martyr.

Tojo and six other convicted war criminals were cremated after execution in 1948.  The ashes were then scattered in the ocean by a US Army aircraft.  The declassified documents were discovered at the US National Archives in Washington, DC, by Japanese lecturer Hiroaki Takazawa of Tokyo’s Nihon University.

“I certify that I received the remains, supervised cremation, and personally scattered the ashes of the following executed war criminals at sea from an Eighth Army liaison plane,” US Army Maj Luther Frierson wrote in a document dated December 23, 1948, the day Tojo and six others were executed. 

Maj Frierson wrote that he witnessed their execution and then flew with their bodies in separate urns.  They flew to “a point approximately 30 miles (48km) over the Pacific Ocean east of Yokohama where I personally scattered the cremated remains over a wide area.” over the Pacific Ocean.

Frierson went on to say that the cremation ovens had been “cleared of the remains in their entirety” and that special care had been taken “to preclude overlooking even the smallest particles of remains.”

The executed men are enshrined at Japan’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine despite the fact that there are no remains to bury.  Since its founding in 1869, the Shinto shrine has been dedicated to the souls of approximately 2.5 million Japanese men, women, and children who have died in the service of their country.  14 convicted Class A war criminals, including Tojo and the other six, are among them.

Tojo was Prime Minister of Japan from 1941 to 1944. He also served as a general in the Imperial Japanese Army.  He advocated for Japanese expansion and attacks against European colonial powers.  As Prime Minister, he presided over Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which drew the United States into World War II, as well as his country’s conquests in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Following the United States’ atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in September 1945, the Tojo attempted suicide as US troops surrounded his home.  In 1948, an international military tribunal found Tojo guilty of war crimes, including waging aggressive wars and ordering inhumane treatment of prisoners of war.  In November of that year, he was sentenced to death and hanged the following month.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton


John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton


Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple


Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery


Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

ON-CAMPUS: Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration Ceremony

The National WWII Museum

June 6, 2021

The National WWII Museum will mark the 77th anniversary of D-Day and 21st birthday of the Museum on Sunday, June 6, 2021, highlighted by the virtual Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration Ceremony that will be livestreamed throughout the Museum.

June 06 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The National WWII Museum will mark the 77th anniversary of D-Day and 21st birthday of the Museum on Sunday, June 6, 2021, highlighted by the on-campus Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration Ceremony in US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. The ceremony will be broadcast in Louisiana Memorial Pavilion and, for those who cannot attend in person, livestreamed on Vimeo and Facebook as well.

Following the ceremony, there will be a free live Victory Belles performance in US Freedom Pavilion at 12:30 p.m. From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., there will also be scarf giveaways for veterans visiting the Museum during the morning courtesy of our Knit Your Bit initiative, with over 10,000 knitters and crocheters participating throughout all 50 states. And at the conclusion of the day, join us in BB’s Stage Door Canteen for a casual performance of wartime piano music! Tap along to favorites like “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” and learn how these tunes coincided with significant events of the war.

Closed captioning will be available for this event:

The National WWII Museum