On Oct. 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson issued a Proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. He wrote: "The season is at hand ... to turn in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His manifold ... blessings to us as a nation. The year that has just passed has been marked ... by ... His gracious and beneficent providence. ... We have seen the practical completion of a great work at the Isthmus of Panama. ... 'Righteousness exalteth a nation' and 'peace on earth, good will towards men' furnish the only foundation upon which can be built the lasting achievements of the human spirit."