Not Your Everyday News

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone is in the midst of a very
joyous holiday with loved ones. However,
I can't let this day go by without a quick
mini-history lesson! As you all know, or
should know anyway, this is a holiday
begun by the pilgrims who had come over
on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth,
Massachusetts in 1620. They were English
Puritans who had come to the New World
to escape religious persecution. Originally
they had gone to Holland, but soon became disturbed at what
they considered an ungodly lifestyle over there (gee, the Dutch
were randy and rowdy even then? Go figure!). So the Puritans
came to Plymouth, but during the harsh winter lost 46 of the
original 102 who had been on the Mayflower. Fortunately for the
survivors the harvest of 1621 was very bountiful, so they decided
to celebrate with a feast, and invited 91 Indians who had helped
the pilgrims survive that first year. The feast was repeated in 1623;
more than likely it was the last one where Indians were invited. In
1676 there was a proclamation of a 'day of thanksgiving', but part of
the celebration was to recognize a recent victory by the colonists
over the "heathen natives" (quoted from the 1676 Thanksgiving
Proclamation by the governing council). The holiday was a
controversial one for the founding fathers and the new United States
after independence from England; some felt the pilgrim's hardships
didn't warrant a national holiday. It wasn't until 1863 that Pres.
Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a
national day of Thanksgiving. Finally, in 1941, under Pres. Franklin
Roosevelt, Congress finally sanctioned Thanksgiving as a legal holiday,
celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November. And now we celebrate
by overeating, watching parades and football (the Dallas Cowboys,
since the early 70's, have always hosted, along with the Detroit Lions,
a Thanksgiving day game!), and for some, strategically planning their
shopping on Black Friday! Happy Thanksgiving y'all!


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