Today is Thanksgiving.
It is a unique holiday in America in that we take a day to give thanks to God for the blessings we have received. Thanksgiving as a tradition began early in American.
When we think of Thanksgiving, we think of the Pilgrims. They are an amazing part of American history. But they were not the first to celebrate Thanksgiving. IN 1565, Spanish settlers in what is now St. Augustine Florida celebrated the Catholic Mass of Thanksgiving.
In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving.
It was not until 1863, that America celebrated Thanksgiving as a holiday. In the dark days of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln directed that there be a day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Thanksgiving has been a tradition since then.
In both good times and bad, Americans give thanks to God for the wonderful blessings we have.
This thanksgiving is one of those dark times. Millions of Americans are out of work and millions are slipping into poverty. America is stressed almost to the breaking point.
Yet this year, once again we give thanks.
Despite the problem, America is a remarkable nation and Americans are an exceptional people. It is this exceptionalism that makes America a great nation and allows Americans to do things others only dream of doing.
Today most of our businesses close and we spend the day with family.
Despite the times of trouble we see now, Americans still have much to be thankful for.
On behalf of all of us at Tea Party Nation, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
The original Thanksgiving proclamation
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
My Great Aunt Muriel used to say that they most precious gift that we can give is the gift of time.
I am reminded of that this season. It hits home to me when I read Lincoln's proclamation and how we approach Thankgiving as a society now.
I am thankful to be one of the few persons at my job that have the day off. I will be expected to appear at work at 7am to help the tons of people who celebrate black friday instead. Many will not be able to take the time off to spend with their families, to take part in teaching our children to be thankful, to spend time in meditation, for all the blessings.
As I was leaving work yesterday, I saw guards up in front of Best Buy with tents behind them. This is how some are spending their Thanksgiving time.
I pray that each of us can set apart a time to be with their families, to contemplate thanksgiving and to be able to teach newer generations what it means to stop what you are doing and set apart a time to slow down and truly be thankful for all that we have.
At a time when it seems to be more about what you 'don't' have and what you feel you are owed, it would do us all good to remember to be grateful for all that America provides us, less we lose those blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Yes, Happy Thanksgiving!
Judson, perhaps I'm misunderstanding, and Lincoln was the first to set aside the 4th Thursday as an official holiday, but Washington made the first Thanksgiving day Proclamation. It is a classic and has always moved me. I believe Roosevelt moved it forward to the 3rd Thursday to give a longer shopping season till Xmas, to boost the economy, then Congress moved it back to the 4th Thursday.
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
Thanks Bruce for this Washington document. I have never come across it. I am grateful for all words from our framers that solidify the truth about church v. state. It was NEVER intended to denounce religion nor remove any rights of those who wish to include God, Jehovah, YHWH, Lord etc. in their daily lives where ever they may be.
God Bless America and God Bless American Patriots!!!