I was going to wait until later in the month to write this, but since i am searching for an idea I chose to make this my topic for today. Thanksgiving is not too far away. I am looking forward to that big meal of turkey, stuffing and all of the finings. By then I will have had at least two Thanksgiving meals, but that’s OK.
I am sure that most of us know the story of Thanksgiving and its origins, but I thought I would look a little more closely at the history of why and how we celebrate.
Did you know…
- George Washington, in 1789, called on people of the U.S. to acknowledge God for affording them “an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness” by observing a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer”. It became a yearly tradition in many communities.
- Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 during the Civil War when President Lincoln asked his fellow citizens “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise….”
- In 1941 Congress designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day, thus creating a federal holiday.
- Native American harvest festivals had been celebrated for centuries. Thanksgiving, as we know it today, began in the early 1600swith the most widely known celebration being that of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, who feasted for 3 days with the Wampanoag people in 1621.
- Turkey has become the traditional Thanksgiving fare because once it was a rare treat. During the 1830s, and 8- to 10- pound bird cost a day’s wages. I think in some stores it still does.
Anyway, these are some fun facts to mull over as you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast.