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News :: Education : Environment : Human Rights : Race : Social Welfare
Histroy of Thanksgiving
23 Nov 2006
Thanksgiving Day is much more than turkey, trimmings, and football.
Thanksgiving Day is an annual day of thanks for the blessings of the past year, observed on the fourth Thursday in November in each of the states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

It is a day in the United States, commemorating the harvest of the Plymouth Colony in 1621. After the survival of their colony through the bitter winter, and the gathering of the harvest, Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony issued a thanksgiving proclamation in the autumn of 1621.

The first Thanksgiving lasted three days, during which the Pilgrims feasted on wild turkey and venison with their Native American guests.

Days of thanksgiving were celebrated sporadically until, on November 26, 1789, President Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation. See link:

He made it clear that the day should be one of prayer and giving thanks to the Almighty.

It was to be celebrated by all religious denominations, a circumstance that helped to promote a spirit of common heritage.

However, when Thanksgiving Day was first inaugurated, only a few eastern states participated.

That was changed through the tireless efforts of one, Sarah J. Hale, editor and founder of the Ladies Magazine (from 1828) in Boston. She was fired with the determination of having the whole nation join together in setting apart a national day of giving thanks unto Almighty from whom all blessings flow.

To this end, she resolutely engaged the press with an endless flow of letters and articles to various newspapers and journals of her time. In addition she pleaded long and earnestly with three Presidents: Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan, during the period of 1846 through 1856.

A small measure of triumph was granted in the year 1852, when her campaign succeeded in uniting 29 states in marking the last Thursday of November as the Thanksgiving day.

Then came the dark days of the Civil War. Who would listen to a lone woman with her persistent plea for just one day of peace amidst the blood and the strife.

One man did. Her entreaty won the ear of the Chief of State, and in 1863, the nations President, Abraham Lincoln, officially proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a day set apart for the national giving of thanks unto Almighty God. Sadly, Lincoln lived to experience only two such occasions, but Sarah Hale lived well into her late 90’s content that her long-cherished hope had at last become a reality.

Succeeding presidents annually followed President Lincoln example.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a week earlier, on the fourth but not the last Thursday, to encourage holiday shopping.

In 1941, Congress adopted a joint resolution setting the date on the fourth Thursday.

An ancient harvest symbol, the cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty, has been associated with Thanksgiving.

In Canada a legal Thanksgiving Day is also observed, usually on the second Monday in October.


We were made with two hands.

One with which to receive and one with which to give.

We are not a cisterns made for hoarding.

We are channels made for sharing.





Contact Your LOCAL Food Banks

Please set up a Gleaners Group in your Community.

You can duplicate their methods in your Neighborhood.

book: Four Season Harvest; author: Eliot Coleman

SEATTLE P-PATCH PROGRAM for helping Food Banks and the poor
You can copy the Seattle Method, and use it in your LOCAL Neighborhood.

COMMUNITY GARDENS for helping Food Banks and the poor
Please set up a community garden in your area using organic gardening methods.
You can set up a community garden at a school or a church, and use it to train children in organic gardening.




Miracle of Tithing

Please email this web page to friend. Thank you.
See also:

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History of Turkey Day
27 Nov 2006
To the author...H-I-S-T-O-R-Y! Before submitting? Do a spell check.