J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Thanksgiving Traditions

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Most people equate Thanksgiving with the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock (Plimoth Plantation). Although the first Thanksgiving in 1621 was a mild celebration between Native Americans and English settlers, it would not become a national observance for nearly 200 years.

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In an effort to unify a torn Union, President Lincoln declared, on October 3, 1863, that the final Thursday of November would be a day of Thanksgiving. He wished to commemorate “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

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The nation honored Thanksgiving by closing stores, holding parades, and sending Thanksgiving greeting cards. Although Thanksgiving was a national observance, it wasn’t designated as a true American holiday until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it up a week to spike holiday retail sales during the Great Depression. Many opposed this move, so in 1941, President Roosevelt signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November, and it has been observed on that day ever since.

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The true essence of Thanksgiving isn’t Black Friday or football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which I love, don’t get me wrong) or even turkey. It is to give thanks for all the blessings we have, and for being a part of this magnificent, great nation under God. May you all have a blissful,  peaceful Thanksgiving.

 

 

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