Thanksgiving purely an American tradition

PC-turkey pull.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
November 20, 2013

What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast involving the Pilgrims after their first American harvest in 1621. The previous winter had claimed many lives from the Plymouth Colony, so the settlers held a fall celebration to give thanks for a “bountiful harvest” that would help them get through the coming dead season.

The colonists ate with the Wampanoag Indians, and the menu included wild fowl, venison, seafood, squash and corn. The Pilgrims held a day of thanksgiving again in 1623. After that, the Plymouth tradition spread to other New England colonies, and the setting aside of a day to give thanks for the autumn harvest persisted throughout the rest of the 17th century.

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress appointed one or more thanksgiving days each year, except in 1777. In that year, Gen. George Washington declared the holiday in December as a victory celebration for the defeat of the British at Saratoga. Later, as president of the newly-formed United States, Washington issued thanksgiving holiday proclamations in 1789 and 1795. However, it was not until another war that Thanksgiving Day officially was proclaimed a national holiday.

Influenced by a steady stream of letters from Sarah Josepha Hale, President Abraham Lincoln named the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day in October 1863. It should be noted that Hale’s campaign to have Thanksgiving observed as a national holiday lasted over 40 years and consisted of tireless lobbying of elected representatives and literally thousands of letters sent to presidents dating back to Andrew Jackson. Later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, under mounting pressure from the business community, re-designated the holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

This year’s Thanksgiving card was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and is number 123 in the series of Thanksgiving Day Postcards produced by the Tuck Company. It was mailed to Miss Ethel Williams of Clarinda, Iowa. The message reads: “Dear Ethel, Accept this Thanksgiving dinner from me. Tell me how it tasted when you write. Went to Keifer yesterday and had a fine time. Yours, Genevieve.” It was mailed from Okmulgee, Okla. on November 27, 1907.

Comments are closed.

  • ‘One of the greatest playgrounds in America’

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of the Ozarks reads, “Lake of the Ozarks is formed by a huge dam


    Those were some postcards! (And that’s no exaggeration)

    April 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News William H. “Dad” Martin of Ottawa, Kan., is considered to be the father of the exaggerated postcard.


    We all went fishin’ with Harold

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Gone fishin, instead of just a wishin.” Those once-obscure lyrics became Harold Easley’s theme song as he ventured weekly to various outdoor spots throughout the world to spotlight


    Sharp Building stood downtown

    April 5th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard, published by the South West News Company of Kansas City, Mo., features a Real Photo postcard view of the Sharp Building on Petticoat Lane.


    Union Station image adorned with swastikas didn’t symbolize Nazis

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week we feature a souvenir postcard published by long-time postcard publisher Max Bernstein in 1921.


  • Come on, ride this train

    March 22nd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard collage shows the Kansas City Southern Lines Southern Belle – Sweetheart of American Trains.


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Postcards such as the one above have long been used to convey greetings to friends and relatives afar. The man who became St.


    Whizzo the clown, that’s who

    March 9th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Who’s always smiling, never sad? It’s Whizzo!/ Who makes the boys and girls so glad, Whizzo./ He’s a merry fellow with a big red shiny nose,/ dressed in


    West Terrace one of Kessler’s first works

    March 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News West Terrace Park was one of Kansas City’s first parks originally proposed by Landscape Architect George Kessler in his plan to develop a “city within a park” in


    Corby legend lives on in St. Joseph

    February 24th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News When John Corby passed through the trading post area of Joseph Robidoux on the Missouri River in 1843, he noted that the location would be an excellent place


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    $52 Million Rock Island Corridor purchase signed in the Northeast

    Northeast News May 2, 2016 Jackson County’s long-awaited acquisition of the 17.7 mile Rock Island Corridor was completed on Monday, […]

    Community earns plaudits at Independence and Benton groundbreaking

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 2, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Kansas City stakeholders and local dignitaries alike wore […]

    Sons and Daughters of Columbus host dinner on May 1

    Northeast News May 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On Sunday, May 1, the American Sons and Daughters of Columbus […]