Thursday, November 28, 2013


"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among us with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted..."

The REAL First Thanksgiving

This was the scene at the first Thanksgiving feast as remembered by Pilgrim Edward Winslow in his Dec. 11, 1621 entry in "A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth". This first observance took place sometime between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, and lasted three days. But it was a one-time affair, and was not celebrated the following year. It did not even become a national holiday in the United States until much later. In 1827, theauthor Sarah Josepha Hale began a campaign for just such a holiday. "We have too few holidays..." She wrote into her novel "Northwood":

"Thanksgiving like the Fourth of July should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people."

She continued to pursue the idea as an editor for the popular journal "Godsey's Lady's Book". Due in part to the efforts of Sarah Hale, on October 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln wrote to remind Americans of their blessings, even in the midst of Civil War:

Lincoln's Declaration:

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins , hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they 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 set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father in the heavens."

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The full text of Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation can be found at:

The above picture from the hilarious Thanksgiving film "Planes, Trains &Automobiles" can be found at:

+ 16.
+ 32.

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