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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

This is the family of turkeys we have been watching grow up all summer.  I took this photo in October.  They are more than double in size now - that is if they made it through today!

The kids have been studying Early American History for the past few weeks as we prepared for Thanksgiving. They have become completely infatuated with pilgrims and indians, telling elaborate stories, and pretending to be "Columbus" or "Pocahontas" almost every day. I thought that these were stories that I was familiar with, but I have learned more about Thanksgiving in the past 6 weeks than I believed possible. So, in the spirit of sharing that this holiday encourages, here are several things you may or may not care to know about the history Thanksgiving:  
Thanksgiving Day is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, but in Canada it is held on the second Monday in October.

The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited around 90 neighboring Wampanoag Indians (who taught them how to cultivate the land) to the three day feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Over a hundred years later President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.

The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, started a campaign for a national holiday of thanksgiving and prayer in 1827.  As result of her efforts, in 1863 Abraham Lincoln officially created Thanksgiving with the goal of uniting the country during the Civil War.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then nick-named the male turkey 'Tom' to spite Jefferson.  Californians are now the largest consumers of "Toms" in the United States.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Hi Sheryl ... I just found your blog. It is good to be able to follow your family. Congrats on the daughter your expecting.

Wow your daughter reminds me of a young Micky ... when I saw her I had a sudden flashback to a sleepover at your house back in highschool ...

- Kelly (Mitchell) O'Rourke