Reader’s Choice: The Evolution of Thanksgiving
This is our last Reader’s Choice post for 2011. I want to start by thanking those who participated in. I will be sending you a little surprise on your e-mails, be on the lookout.
The question and very fitting for the holiday we are celebrating this week is, how did the Thanksgiving festivities evolved from the original festivities to what we do today? We were taught in school that pilgrims and Indians sat together with turkey and pumpkin pies and had a friendly meal together. History says it wasn’t quite like that.
So how did it happen?
It is said that the very first harvest feast between Indians and colonist was celebrated in 1621. The colonist arrived in the Mayflower the prior year. Not having the survival skills to whether the winter they stayed in the ship, but many were very sick and malnourished. The Indians (Squanto, a returned slaved who knew English and others) taught them how to cultivate corn, avoid poisonous plants and help them forge an alliance with a local tribe for their survival. So when everything the Indians taught them proved to be true and beneficial the colonist decided to celebrate a three day feast.
And they ate turkey?
Yeah, not quite; the exact menu is unknown. We know there were lobsters,
seals, swans and wild turkeys amongst the meats of choice. Personally I’m upset that we kept up with the turkey and not the lobster, nothing against the turkey, I love it…just a preference.
What it is known is that there were not all those pies that we currently eat. First of all the Native American didn’t eat much sugar and the sugar supply from the Mayflower had dwindled down by then, so no dessert.
So how did we get to the point where we are now?
From History.com “In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.”
The bottom line is that currently we use Thanksgiving as the designated day to gather with family and friends, to remember the things that we are thankful for. It’s a good time to do inventory of all our blessings and realize that we have way more than we acknowledge some times.
For me, I’m grateful to be loved by the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, my beautiful Jesus. I’m grateful for the family He has given me, for my gifts and talents. I thank Him for my friends and for the special people in my life. I am grateful for all my experiences, the good and the bad that have made me who I am. I’m grateful for my readers who have become my friends and source of inspiration. And of course for the four-legged child that’s curled up on my feet as I write this post, she’s my daily joy and reminder of what unconditional love looks like.
As always I love to hear from you. What things are you grateful for this year? What little and big blessings make your life meaningful?
Join Naty Matos and 9 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
Posted on November 23, 2011, in Inspirational Thoughts and tagged Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franksgiving, Jesus, Mayflower, Naty Matos, postaweek2011, Religion and Spirituality, Thanksgiving, Thursday, United States. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.