In her latest article on ScheerPost, PBI Co-chair Ellen Brown shares timely insights gained from our national holiday:
Three U.S. presidents were instrumental in establishing Thanksgiving as a regular national event. On October 3, 1789, George Washington declared the first federal Thanksgiving holiday. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it an annual federal holiday. And in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill setting the date at the fourth Thursday of every November. All three presidents were giving thanks for bringing the country through a major financial crisis related to war, and they all achieved this feat through what Sen. Henry Clay called the “American system” of banking and finance – sovereign or government-issued money and credit.
For Washington, the challenge was freeing the American colonies from the imperial rule of Britain, then the world’s leading military power, when the new government lacked a source of funding. Lincoln faced a similar challenge, leading the Northern states in a civil war while lacking a national bank or national currency to fund it. For Roosevelt, the challenge was bringing the country through the Great Depression and World War II, when 9,000 banks had gone bankrupt at the beginning of his first term and the country was again without a source of credit. …
Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt faced financial challenges that were equally daunting in their day; and the country came through them and continued to thrive, using a funding device that Benjamin Franklin described as “a mystery even to the politicians.”