Thanksgiving in the USA – Did you know ?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

*Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. It did not become a federal holiday until 1941. Thanksgiving was historically a religious observthanksgivingation to give thanks to God, but is now also identified as a secular holiday.

The First Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive the brutal winter. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians.  The feast consisted of fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. However, the traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

** The idea of a national Thanksgiving Day can be attributed to Sarah Joseph Hale who promoted the idea to President Abraham Lincoln.  In 1863, President Lincoln set aside the last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  President Lincoln later explained to a friend:  “When I left Springfield (to assume the presidency) I asked the people to pray for me.  I was not a Christian.  When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian.  But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.”  In 1941, Congress made Thanksgiving a national holiday.

*** If you are a Christian, a way to show true thanksgiving to God is to always remember Him. Remembering Him means that He is a part of our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is impossible to give gratitude to God if we never think or speak of Him. When we remember Him we are choosing to think, speak, and act as He would have us do.

All of us have much to be thankful for -  as did the Pilgrims and Indians of Plymouth Colony that historic day in 1621.  Thanksgiving day provides a great opportunity to honor God for all that He’s provided for us. – especially Turkey feasts and Football!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sources: * Wikipedia **Manteca Bulletin ***