No substantive post today, weighed down by turkey (my share of 46 million turkeys, and 700 million pounds consumed this week!), and distracted by parades and football. Happy Thanksgiving to all our loyal readers.
Of course, the modern Thanksgiving holiday is commonly traced to the 1621 celebration at Plymouth, Massachusetts, as the Pilgrims celebrated a good harvest with the Wamponoag tribe after a tough year.
President George Washington proclaimed the first national thanksgiving celebration in America setting November 26, 1789, as a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of the Almighty.”
Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date in all states in 1863 through a presidential proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Because of the war, his concept of Thanksgiving did not fully take effect until the Reconstruction in the 1870’s. But he wrote it was fit and proper that the gifts and blessings received during the year “should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” And so we do.