Video: Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer on the significance of Thanksgiving proclamation

Duncan Newcomer—author, theologian and Lincoln scholar—has written extensively about Abraham Lincoln, including various columns now indexed in our Abraham Lincoln Resource Page.

Duncan produced this 11-minute video explaining the significance of one of Lincoln’s most enduring decisions: the declaration of Thanksgiving. If you are planning to discuss this milestone in your small group—or perhaps you are planning to write about it—you will want to watch Duncan’s short talk.

In the opening of the talk, Duncan explains: “I want to help us look at Abraham Lincoln’s unusual Thanksgiving Day Proclamation—unusual because he instituted a nearly religious national holiday and unusual because of the values and ideas he used to do so. Lincoln’s two greatest speeches are the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. They have become American beacons of light from an extraordinarily dark time—our Civil War. The ideals enshrined in those speeches are enacted in at least two practical proclamations: The Emancipation Proclamation and this lesser-known Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. In these, Lincoln took practical steps toward the two goals of the Civil War: freedom and union.”

Click the video screen below to watch the entire, brief talk …

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