Wilbur Lucius Cross was born on a rural Connecticut farm in 1862, but went on to get first a bachelor's degree and then a Ph. D. at Yale University. He later became a professor of English Literature there, and a renowned literary critic and an expert on Shakespeare's works. He became the first Dean of the Yale Graduate school in 1916. Following a long career in academia, he ran for Governor of Connecticut, and served four 2 year terms, before being narrowly defeated in 1938. He actively supported the transition of the Connecticut Agricultural College to become first Connecticut State College (1933), and then The University of Connecticut (1938). The University is my alma matter twice over, and I am an Assistant Clinical Professor there myself - mostly a technicality, I just teach medical students one on one in my office. The University's library was named after him, as was the Wllbur Cross Parkway. He is especially remembered for his eloquent proclamations, most famously this one, often read in schools and churches right before our national day of Thanksgiving:
Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year. In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the twenty-sixth of November, as a day of Public Thanksgiving for the blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved State with the favored regions of earth – for all the creature comforts: the yield of the soil that has fed us and the richer yield from labor of every kind that has sustained our lives – and for all those things, as dear as breath to the body, that quicken man’s faith in his manhood, that nourish and strengthen his spirit to do the great work still before him: for the brotherly word and act; for honor held above price; for steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth; for liberty and for justice freely granted by each to his fellow and so as freely enjoyed; and for the crowning glory and mercy of peace upon our land; – that we may humbly take heart of these blessings as we gather once again with solemn and festive rites to keep our Harvest Home.