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.

  • Celebrating with Uncle Sam: Happy Fourth of July!

    June 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created, or for whom (if anyone) he was named.


    Kansas City’s old Convention Hall

    June 21st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a rare advertising postcard showing the old Convention Hall, which was destroyed by fire in early April 1900 — just 90 days prior to


    Century-old view of KC from river

    June 14th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City’s riverfront on the Missouri River is pictured in this old, turn-of-the-century postcard published by The Southwest News Company of Kansas City.


    Viaduct connected Kansas cities

    June 7th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This postcard, titled “United States Troops Crossing Intercity Viaduct, Kansas City, Mo.,” shows what seems to be an unending column of Army troops crossing the then-newly constructed bridge


    ‘The great white city’

    June 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Electric Park was named for the 100,000 electric light bulbs outlining its buildings and rides.


  • Thoroughly modern courthouse

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This linen postcard, showing north and west sides of what at the time was the new Jackson County Courthouse and the intersection of 12th and Oak streets, was


    Summer brings rain, sometimes flooding

    May 17th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the summer rain season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing a scene in the West Bottoms during the great flood of 1908:


    Staley’s Educated Twins

    May 10th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Romeo and Aureo are identical twin pigs. They have traveled all over the country and are well educated.


    Roses are red … and pink, and white …

    May 3rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Between October 21-24 of 1864, the area we now know as Loose Park was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War west of


    ‘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


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCPS announces free Pre-K programming for 1,100 students

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News July 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – New Kansas City Public Schools superintendent Dr. Mark […]

    Lost art from demolished Northeast building has been located

    Northeast News July 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – What was once lost has now been found. Despite assurances to […]

    KCPD calls for end to celebratory 4th of July gunfire

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News June 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On July 4, 2011, 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane […]