Thanksgiving purely an American tradition

PC-turkey pull.jpg

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.

  • Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored

    October 6th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    In August of that same year an engine company was formed

    Historic postcard offers glimpse of beautiful Penn Valley Park

    September 29th, 2015

    Northeast News The three-acre lake shown on the front of this black and white postcard was once part of an area of ramshackle shanties called Vinegar Hill and bordered OK

    School’s important part of Church’s history

    September 22nd, 2015

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for girls, the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge) and Askew Avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas City.

    Even the postmark carries its own history

    September 15th, 2015

    Northeast News The Fred Harvey Company, around 1912, published this pastoral scene showing a roadway in Swope Park.

    Racing in Smithville

    September 9th, 2015

    Northeast News The Kansas City-Smithville Race Track grandstands and the first turn are pictured on this postcard published by the Auburn Greeting Card Company in the 1920s.

  • Labor Day holiday weekend honors workers both past and present

    September 1st, 2015

    Northeast News With the Labor Day holiday on Monday, we pay homage to the greatest workforce on the face of the earth with this Real Photo Postcard published in 1910.

    Central served those seeking education

    August 25th, 2015

    Northeast News Published by the Elite Postcard Company, this color postcard shows Central High School that once stood at the corner of 11th and Locust Streets downtown.
    Originally opened in September

    The Chester steams through MO history

    August 18th, 2015

    Northeast News This Fred Harvey postcard shows a scene near the Municipal Wharf at First and Main Streets.

    Power and light building: An Art Deco icon

    August 11th, 2015

    Northeast News The Kansas City Power and Light building is arguably one of the finest examples of Art-Deco architecture in the country, rivaled only by the Chrysler Building in New

    Thacher Elementary now rubble & memories

    August 4th, 2015

    Northeast News Louin Kennedy Thacher was born in Hornellsville, New York, and immigrated to the Kansas City area in the mid 1850s to take advantage of the huge land boom.

  • Local Weather