An American Thanksgiving

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.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

36 Comments on “An American Thanksgiving

    • Well, it is usually really really good, but I burned the crust a bit. Not but just a tiny bit, but I don’t eat a tiny bit ever. I was so disappointed. I’ve been making it since 2007. First time for everything. My Pumpkin roll cake turned out awesome! The pie is 1/2 cheesecake and 1/2 pumpkin like in pumpkin pie. I make a homemade graham cracker crust from scratch and it goes into a pie dish, not a springform pan. I used a different brand of graham crackers this time and I think that was the problem, plus I think it needed a bit more butter. Oh well. Next year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating history. I never thought to look it up. I knew the “first Thanksgiving” had, shall we say, morphed in the telling to be more of a myth than an accurate recount. I’d like to see it morph a bit more to become a day of thankfulness for all the contributions of all the different people that make up this nation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The history of the actual accounts is hard to recognize. But the history of how the government has transformed the holiday is accurate. Unfortunately, in my mind, it was the beginning of the end of the native people. It may have taken 150-200 years. That is the way I see it as I come from both sides. Native American and European. I’m a Texan transformed Floridian but my ancestors are a mixed bag. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Lisa, for the enlightening evolution of Thanksgiving Day, and your profound homage to everyone who’s been impacted by this pandemic.

    May yours be a most celebrated day filled with an abundance of joyful memories, cheerful moments, and the blessing of all your Thanksgiving wishes come true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Skip. It was quiet. Just Frank & me. We took takeout over to Kaela & Danny so they could keep working on the packing and getting ready to move. They move tomorrow. Hope you had a wonderful day as well! 🙂


      • TY4 the wonderful day wishes, Lisa. Yup! Thanksgiving was just fine and dandy. Best wishes to Kaela and Danny on their move. ‘Tis always exciting continuing life’s journey in a new locale.

        Liked by 1 person

      • They moved today and Kaela is at the new house washing her sheets. The bed gets put together and she is unpacking the bathroom. Shower and a good night’s sleep is on the agenda for them. 🙂


    • Thanks Barbara & you as well! It has been a whirlwind since yesterday! It was just Frank & me, but we cooked and baked so it was busy. 🙂 Hope yours was wonderful! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the accurate history. There are so many myths and how it all really happened, but it is a day we can be thankful for all the things that make up our lives and the awesome people we surround ourselves with…well maybe not physically this year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had a great day, Beth. Took the day off from the Etsy shop and just enjoyed cooking with Frank. Took food to my daughter & her boyfriend because they are moving tomorrow. How was your Thanksgiving?


  3. I’m glad you had a lovely Thanksgiving! I wouldn’t have minded if the crust was a bit overdone I rarely eat the crust of any pie. I like the insides the best. 😀 My Son-in-Law made both Turkey and Ham and they were delicious. His mom brought a pumpkin pie from a local bakery, but I didn’t care for it at all. It had no pumpkin flavor at all. The Costco pumpkin roll I brought tasted great and went quick!

    Liked by 1 person

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