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George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation has been listed for sale (Image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation: All about the historical document explored as it goes for sale at $15 million

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation is going for sale at $15 million at Moments In Time. It features the entire proclamation alongside the signature of Washington.

The value of the Proclamation has increased to a great extent over the years and a private collector has listed it for sale. The piece was sold for $3,800 in 1977 and for $6.5 million in 1984.


Keno Auctions was previously selling a copy of the Proclamation a long time back in 2014. Another attempt was made to sell it at an auction in 2013 but it failed.

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation For Sale at $15 Million
Here’s a cool piece of United States history going up for sale … the proclamation George Washington issued making Thanksgiving a national holiday. America’s first President issued the proclamation way bac…

The attempt to sell the Proclamation was being done by auction house Christie's in 2013 and they were expecting it to sell for either $8 million or $12 million. A spokesperson for Christie's revealed at the time that the proclamation failed to find a buyer.


Before the sale, Christie's head of books and manuscripts appeared for an interview with CNBC and stated:

"It absolutely does stand to be the most expensive American manuscript documents ever sold at auction. Washington signed very few proclamations. It's rare enough to have a proclamation at all, but to have a proclamation about a holiday that we all hold so dear, really deserves to be featured."

In 2012, Christie's sold Washington's annotated copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for $9.8 million. Non-profit education group, Mount Vernon Ladies' Association paid the price for the annotated Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Story behind George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation explored

Thankgiving is being celebrated since 1789 with a proclamation by President George Washington (Image via Stock Montage/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November every year. It was initially a day of Thanksgiving and harvest festival and the pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in the New World in October 1621.

Thanksgiving is being celebrated since 1789 following a proclamation by President George Washington after being requested by Congress.

George Washington mentioned in the document that he declares "Thursday, the 26th day of November to be devoted by the People of the States to the service of the great and glorious Being."


Although President Thomas Jefferson opted not to celebrate the holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in 1863, a national day of "Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Thanksgiving and other federal holidays were later declared a paid holiday for all federal workers due to an act by Congress on January 6, 1885.

The date was later shifted to one week earlier which was followed between 1939 and 1941 and Thanksgiving got a permanent date after being signed into law, which was the 4th Thursday in November.

The first National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given in 1777 by the Continental Congress and George Washington declared December 1777 as a victory celebration to honor the defeat of the British at Sarasota. It was later continued as a practice under the Constitution.


President Ulysses S. Grant then signed the holidays act into law on June 28, 1870, declaring Thanksgiving a yearly appointed or remembered federal holiday in Washington DC.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the 4th Thursday as Thanksgiving and both houses of Congress passed a joint resolution that fixed the last Thursday date for the beginning of the holiday in 1942.

The Senate then passed an amendment to the resolution stating that Thanksgiving will be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November and after being passed on the House, President Roosevelt signed the amendment.


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Edited by
Kanav Seth
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