Happy Thanksgiving!

All We Have Time For Thanksgiving by Victoria from FL, USA

All We Have Time For Thanksgiving by Victoria from FL, USA

Some Thanksgiving History…
1621: The Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. 
1789: President George Washington proclaimed the very first national day of Thanksgiving it to be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer,” to especially give thanks for the opportunity to form a new nation and the establishment of a new constitution.

1863: President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November, as a day of “thanksgiving and praise.” When the United States was torn in half during the Civil War and Lincoln was searching for a way to bring the nation together, he turned to Sarah Josepha Hale.

Sarah Josepha Hale (was editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book and author of the famous “Mary Had a Little Lamb” nursery rhyme) had spent 40 years advocating for a national, annual Thanksgiving holiday. In the years leading up to the Civil War, she saw the holiday as a way to bring hope to the nation and restore faith in the constitution. It is also interesting to note, Hale was the first person to advocate for women as teachers in public schools, the first to advocate for day nurseries to assist working mothers, and the first to propose public playgrounds.

1939: President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) agreed to push Thanksgiving one week earlier because of pressure by retailers who hoped that with an extra week of shopping, people would buy more.

1941: Congress passed an official proclamation declaring Thanksgiving would be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

Fun facts…
–  280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving celebrations in the USA.
– 91% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
– Only male turkeys gobble and, therefore, are called gobblers.
– Cranberries were used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye clothes.
– In the 1920’s (in NYC) the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began.
– Since the 1930s the Friday after Thanksgiving has been called Black Friday largely  because stores hope the busy shopping day will take them out of the red (debt) and into the black with positive profits.
– Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey to the President, who “pardons” the turkey and allows it to live out its days on a farm.  Abraham Lincoln is said to have informally started the practice when he pardoned his son’s pet turkey whose name was Jack.
For more on this story go to: A Turkey Named Jack

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