Thanksgiving… A Little History.

A little Thanksgiving History.

Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America. The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century.

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sometimes called American Thanksgiving (outside the United States) to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday of the same name and related celebrations in other regions. It originated as a harvest festival, and the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remains Thanksgiving dinner.

The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas,namely turkeypotatoes (usually mashed), stuffingsquashcorn (maize), green beans,  cranberries  (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie. Other Thanksgiving customs include charitable organizations offering Thanksgiving dinner for the poor, attending religious services, watching parades, and viewing football games.

In American culture Thanksgiving is regarded as the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, which includes Christmas and the New Year.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by President George Washington after a request by Congress. President Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday in Washington D.C. On January 6, 1885, an act by Congress made Thanksgiving, and other federal holidays, a paid holiday for all federal workers throughout the United States.

Thanksgiving, by an act of Congress, signed into law by FDR, received a permanent observation date, the fourth Thursday in November, no longer at the discretion of the President.

Turkey, usually roasted and stuffed (but sometimes deep-fried instead), is typically the featured item on most Thanksgiving feast tables. 40 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving Day alone in 2019. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

 With 85 percent of Americans partaking in the meal, an estimated 276 million Americans dine on the festive poultry, spending an expected $1.05 billion on turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2016. Mashed potatoes with gravystuffingsweet potatoescranberry saucesweet corn, various fall vegetables, squashBrussels sprouts and pumpkin pie are among the side dishes commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner.  Green bean casserole, invented by an employee of the Campbell Soup Company in 1955, is a “staple” of the dinner. All these are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived.

SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

As a result of the size of Thanksgiving dinner, Americans eat more food on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. Thanksgiving dinners tend to be shorter when the participants have political differences.

At home, it is a holiday tradition in many families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace (a prayer before or after a meal). Before praying, it is a common practice at the dining table for “each person [to] tell one specific reason they’re thankful to God that year”. While grace is said, some families hold hands until the prayer concludes, often indicated with an “Amen“.

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys, in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey PresentationJohn F. Kennedy was the first president reported to spare the turkey given to him (he said he did not plan to eat the bird), and Ronald Reagan was the first to grant the turkey a presidential pardon, which he jokingly presented to his 1987 turkey. The turkey was then sent to a petting zoo.

Some legends date the origins of pardoning turkey to the Harry Truman administration or even to Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son’s Christmas turkey; both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches, but neither has any evidence in the Presidential record. George H. W. Bush, who served as vice president under Reagan, made the turkey pardon a permanent annual tradition upon assuming the presidency in 1989, a tradition that has been carried on by every president each year since. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner. Consequently, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers (78% as of 2007) are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve, the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs as many college students and others return to their hometowns to reunite with friends and family.

This Thanksgiving, we at Viamar Homes want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday. May the abundance of appreciation fill your homes and hearts this holiday, cheers.

We are Thankful for being part of the Cape Coral & Lehigh acres community, Happy Holidays from our humble home to yours, Vianca and Martha Pino.

Published by Ms.Pino

I am Real Estate Developer Building luxuriously affordable new homes in Cape Coral, Florida. I am a published author and I broadcast live to millions of people around the world sharing happiness and prosperity!

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