Hollywood's 1954 Thanksgiving Prayer: 'We Thank Thee for the Privilege of Living as Free Men'

By Penny Starr | November 19, 2012 | 12:44pm EST

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – On Thanksgiving week in 1954, NBC aired a holiday-themed “Father Knows Best” that ended with the family praying before their meal, including thanking God “for the privilege of living as free men in a country which respects our freedom and our personal rights to worship and think and speak as we choose.”

The Nov. 21, 1954 show featured the Anderson family: Jim and Margaret and their three children, Betty, Bud and Kathy.

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In the program, the family decided to forgo a Thanksgiving meal because of scheduling conflicts. But in the end, the parents and children decide that sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal together is the best way to celebrate.

As the family sits around the kitchen table, the father leads the family in prayer:

“Oh Lord, we give thee thanks from the depths of our humble hearts for all the blessings thou has seen fit to bestow upon us. We thank thee for the food, which graces our table, the roof, which covers our head.

“We thank thee for the privilege of living as free men in a country which respects our freedom and our personal rights to worship and think and speak as we choose.

“We thank thee for making us a family, for giving us sincerity and understanding.

“But most of all, dear Lord, we thank thee for giving us the greatest gift a family may know--the gift of love for one another. Amen.”

Robert Young (Jim), Jane Wyatt (Margaret), Billy Gray (Bud), Lauren Chapin (Kathy) and Elinor Donahue (Betty) starred in “Father Knows Best,” which aired on NBC from 1954 to 1960.

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