Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Origins of Thanksgiving

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving!

According to the History Channel, one of the most iconic images of Thanksgiving is that of the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians who celebrated a 3 day meal together in celebration of their bountiful harvest.  It was considered the first Thanksgiving noted in history.  By the 19th century, Sarah Hale, a influential magazine editor and author (who also wrote Mary had a Little Lamb), promoted the idea of Thanksgiving, which caught the attention of Abraham Lincoln who declared it a national day of Thanksgiving that would take place on the last Thursday in November.  By 1941, it had been declared a official national holiday. 

Nowadays, Thanksgiving continues to be a time of "thanks." Family and friends get together to enjoy a nice meal, usually consisting of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more.  Many watch football or the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, while some volunteer their time for a good cause.

Every Thanksgiving, various organizations help feed the homeless and elderly, providing them with a nice Thanksgiving meal.  With the poor economy, the amount of people attending these types of functions surely increased this year. 

It's always nice to hear that those serving abroad were also able to enjoy Thanksgiving, since being far from home for the holidays cannot be easy.  They truly pay the ultimate sacrifice.   

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to reflect on what you are grateful for, although I do feel sorry for all of the millions of Turkeys consumed! 

If you are interested in more interesting facts about Thanksgiving, follow the link below to the History Channel or click on the "The Origins of Thanksgiving" for the video.

The History of Thanksgiving

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