Sacramento, California - Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring Thursday, November 26, 2020, as Thanksgiving Day.
This year, America celebrates a Thanksgiving unlike any in our history, foregoing some of the time-honored traditions of this holiday in order to keep one another safe. However, we will not give up the spirit of Thanksgiving or the foundational ideals that unite the people of our state, even during difficult and uncertain times. Our nation has gathered to give thanks around this time since 1621, and presidents from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln have reflected on the importance of expressing gratitude and lifting each other up during moments of national struggle. Our understanding of the first Thanksgiving, of course, failed to tell the full story of European contact with Indigenous peoples living in what is now the United States. In the years that followed, Indigenous peoples have rightfully called attention to the inaccuracies and elisions in our national narrative. As California, through efforts like the Truth and Healing Council, makes progress toward a fuller accounting of our history, we nonetheless take time to celebrate friendship, generosity and resilience today. Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, Californians across the state have exemplified these values. We draw strength and resilience from the heroism of our health care workers, emergency response personnel and essential workers from all lines of work, as well as volunteers who are safely checking in on their vulnerable neighbors. Their example reminds us that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and more united than before. On this day, we keep in our thoughts those we have lost and those facing hardship in this crisis, and give thanks for the enduring bonds of family, friendship and community, which cannot be diminished by the pandemic. Let us strengthen these lasting ties and resolve to protect and support one another during these unprecedented times. This Thanksgiving, Californians will find new ways to connect, as they have throughout the pandemic. Whether scaling down gatherings, hosting outdoor activities, or celebrating virtually, reimagining our holiday traditions will help keep California communities safe and healthy this season. On this day of gratitude, let us draw together in spirit and give thanks for the friendship and love that surround us, even when our loved ones cannot.