The following is from Eric Buehrer:
The Supreme Court recognizes the religious nature of Thanksgiving and finds nothing wrong with Congress and the President initiating it. In the case of Lynch v. Donnelly, the Court stated:
“President Washington and his successors proclaimed Thanksgiving, with all its religious overtones, a day of national celebration and Congress made it a National Holiday more than a century ago. That holiday has not lost its theme of expressing thanks for Divine aid any more than has Christmas lost its religious significance.
“Executive Orders and other official announcements of Presidents and of the Congress have proclaimed both Christmas and Thanksgiving National Holidays in religious terms.
“And, by Acts of Congress, it has long been the practice that federal employees are released from duties on these National Holidays, while being paid from the same public revenues that provide the compensation of the Chaplains of the Senate and the House and the military services. Thus, it is clear that Government has long recognized — indeed it has subsidized — holidays with religious significance.”
For a FREE lesson plan on Teaching Students About The Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, visit http://www.gtbe.org/news/index.php/1/24/161.html.