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.

  • Ruskin Heights tornado still conjers horror for some

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Fifty eight years ago today, a string of savage storms rose from the southern plains states and tore a devastating path across the Kansas City area that some


    Motel Capri – Northeast’s Gold Standard for Motor Inns

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In the late 1950’s, an empty plat of ground just north of the old Boy’s Hotel at Admiral Boulevard and Highland Avenue caught the eye of three local


    Cursed be the villain who molests these graves

    May 5th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In January of 1859, the town of Wyandot was incorporated and two streets were cut across what we now know as the Huron Indian Cemetery.


    Cliff Drive’s legacy endures time as a world-class park

    April 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Cliff Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.”
    So reads the description on the front of this postcard published by the Fred Harvey Company.


    As KC grew, so grew the City Market

    April 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Building the imposing new City Hall at Fifth and Main Streets required the installation of roughly 60 circular caissons, five feet across, to support the massive structure.


  • Fairyland lives on in photo postcard

    April 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the view of Fairyland Park from the top of the roller coaster in the 1930s.


    History remains bridge to the past

    April 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In 1950, there were only two bridges that spanned the Missouri River to the north, offering access to downtown Kansas City.
    The old Hannibal Bridge, originally constructed in 1917,


    Main Street Theater history lives on

    March 31st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The marquee on the Max Bernstein postcard of the Main Street Theater shows the vaudeville team of Williams and Wolfus playing, as well as Lydia Barry.
    “Williams and Wolfus”


    Fort Osage serves both past and present

    March 24th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard is an early Chrome-type postcard published by James Tetrick of Kansas City showing historic Fort Osage near Sibley.


    The original Kansas City Hummer vehicle

    March 17th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News When you think of a Hummer these days, the first thing to probably come to mind is the monstrous SUV that began its life as a utility vehicle


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Memorial Day weekend events in and around Kansas City

    Northeast News May 22, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — There are plenty of events taking place in and around the […]

    Woman charged with murder in child’s death

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News May 20, 2015               KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A Jackson […]

    KCDC students unveil plans for abandoned reservoir

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Like the one-time working water reservoir in the Northeast, the Kansas City Design Center students have been overflowing with ideas on how