Did you know that turkey wasn’t on the menu at the first American Thanksgiving? Colonist arrived from England on the Mayflower in 1620 and in celebration of a successful harvest, a feast lasting 3 days between September & November took place.
On November 5, 1782 the Continental Congress proclaimed Thursday, 28 November as “a day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all His Mercies…”
On October 3, 1789, George Washington created the first Thanksgiving Day designation by the national government of the United States of America for all citizens to observe this day of thanks. This was a year to year declaration. John Adams, the second President of the United States declared Thanksgivings in 1798 & 1799. However, Thomas Jefferson was skeptic of divine intervention and did not declare thanksgiving days during his presidency. The tradition was renewed in 1814 with James Madison. Madison declared two thanksgivings in 1815, neither were in the fall. For many years after that, it was left up to the governors of each state to declare thanksgiving if they chose to. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the 26th, the final Thursday of November. Since that time, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States.
On, June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a federal holiday in Washington D.C, one that was appointed federally by the President. The law did not extend outside of Washington D.C. An act by Congress on January 6, 1885 made Thanksgiving a paid holiday for federal employees throughout the United States. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941 establishing the fourth Thursday in November a Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday. In 1942, Roosevelt (FDR) signed into law that the fourth Thursday in November was a permanent holiday and no longer at the discretion of the President.
Since that time, Americans and immigrants have observed giving thanks where families come together to be thankful for all things in their lives. 2020 has not been nice to a lot of people including yours truly. I may have lost my job, but I am thankful that Frank and I are healthy and no one in my immediate family has been burdened with the repercussions of Covid. I pray for those who have lost loved ones and want to express how thankful I am to the first responders, nurses, doctors and anyone that is on the front lines such as teachers. You are the real heroes!
Last Friday, I hosted the Bird Weekley topic of Birds that are Hunted or Consumed by Humans. We are not doing a traditional Thanksgiving this year. NO TURKEY! Our menu consists of Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cornbread Muffins, Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie and Pumpkin Roll Cake.