Editorial: Take time Thursday to give your own thanks
Thanksgiving Thursday is a time-honored American tradition, which started long before the United States even existed. This holiday was first celebrated by American Indians as a harvest festival. However, Thanksgiving is most often associated with...
Thanksgiving Thursday is a time-honored American tradition, which started long before the United States even existed.
This holiday was first celebrated by American Indians as a harvest festival. However, Thanksgiving is most often associated with the Pilgrims of the Mayflower.
The Pilgrims first celebrated their Thanksgiving in 1621, honoring their own first harvest. The New World settlers had survived their first winter, planted their crops and harvested fresh bounty. More importantly, they had hope for their future.
A New England tradition had begun.
It became an American tradition in 1777 when a Day of Thanksgiving was declared following the U.S. victory at Saratoga. President George Washington then declared the first Day of National Thanksgiving in 1789.
President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday as a Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 during the midst of the Civil War. Yet it wasn't until 1941 that Congress finally declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
And we must remember that American Indians do not all celebrate Thanksgiving. They remember it instead as a day of mourning for their people and culture.
As you gather Thursday with your family and friends to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving feast, remember the purpose of this holiday.
Give thanks for the blessings of your family and those of west central Minnesota. America, with all its challenges, still remains a country of prosperity which is envied around the world.