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Governor Wilbur L. Cross

Connecticut Governor Wilbur L. Cross reading his1938 Thanksgiving Proclamation - Connecticut State Library


YouTube – Connecticut State Library

In 1936 Connecticut Governor Wilbur Lucius Cross penned a Thanksgiving Proclamation that has withstood the test of time. The words of this former professor of English and Graduate School dean at Yale are revived year after year for their positive, uplifting message.

While Cross’s 1936 Thanksgiving Proclamation is the most well-known today, he produced seven other Thanksgiving Proclamations that are no less lyrical.

In a November 28, 1968, Hartford Courant editorial, the writer says “…the late Wilbur Lucius Cross in 1935 issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that remains one of the classics of American prose.”

His 1931 Thanksgiving Proclamation was a single sentence 176 words long and he is quoted as saying, “I wrote the proclamation in one sentence so that it would have to be quoted in full if at all.”

Governor Cross’s last Thanksgiving Proclamation came in 1938 and was released just two days after losing to Raymond E. Baldwin in the gubernatorial election. This particular proclamation is notable because the film above was made of Governor Cross reading this proclamation on December 9, 1938, the first time a Connecticut Governor had ever appeared in a sound film.

Wilbur Lucius Cross served as Governor of Connecticut from 1931-1938.

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“Governor Wilbur L. Cross - Thanksgiving Proclamations.” Connecticut State Library - Flickr, 2017. Link.

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