Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Of course we all know that Thanksgiving originated with the pilgrims. But did you know that the holiday wasn't made official until 1863? President Lincoln declared a national day of thanks, to take place on November 26, after the Union victory at Gettysburg. The speech, which was actually written by Secretary of State William Seward, declared that every fourth Thursday in November would thereafter be an official U.S. holiday.

George Washington, in 1789, called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer, but an annual event wasn't observed. This was in part because successive presidents thought it was going against the Constitution's separation of church and state. From 1815 until 1863, no official proclamation took place.

Thanksgiving was celebrated on the fourth Thursday from 1863 until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to change it to the third Thursday in an attempt to boost the economy by providing extra shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, he changed it back in 1941 after bowing to the pressures of Congress.

So let us all give thanks for the wonderful country we live in, for our troops, and for the many blessings we have. Have fun watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and all the football games. And try not to eat too much turkey!

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