Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in
The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
After Abraham Lincoln made the last Thursday in November 1863 "a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father," it became a presidential tradition every year for the next 75 to formally proclaim Thanksgiving Day. President Taft's rosy review of the year 1910 in his proclamation seemed confirmed by an accompanying story suggesting that filthy mouths were all people had to worry about at the time. Two excerpts from The Post of Nov. 7, 1910:
A PROCLAMATION:"This year of 1910 is drawing to a close. The records of population and harvests, which are the index of progress, show vigorous national growth and the health and prosperous well-being of our communities throughout this land and in our possessions beyond the seas. These blessings have not descended upon us in restricted measures, but overflow and abound. They are the blessings and bounty of God.
"We continue to be at peace with the rest of the world. In all essential matters our relations with other peoples are harmonious, with an ever-growing reality of friendliness and depth of recognition of mutual dependence. It is especially to be noted that during the past year great progress has been achieved in the cause of arbitration and the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
As a public protest against profanity and immorality, 7,000 members of the Holy Name Society of the archdiocese of Baltimore yesterday afternoon paraded up Pennsylvania avenue, from the Capitol to the Washington Monument grounds.
Dignity was lent to the demonstration by the presence of some of the highest dignitaries of the Catholic Church in America. In lines were priests and laymen from nearly every part of the East and South.
Thousands of Washingtonians witnessed the spectacle, the entire line of march being thronged with people.
The crowd was the most orderly that ever witnessed a large parade in Washington. There was no cheering, but the silence was taken as an eloquent tribute to the purposes of the Holy Name Society. Not a profane word could be heard along the avenue while the marchers passed. ...
Strict military order was observed. Society members had been trained for weeks, and were marshaled by parishes, each parish being commanded by a captain.
Similar parades recently have been held in Pittsburg, Boston, and other large cities of the United States. The movement seeks to correct the evil of profanity among young men and boys on the streets. Branches of the society have been formed in every large city in the country by the Catholic priesthood. Prominent men have supported the movement, because they believe that the tide of profanity in this country is a menace to the young.