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Thanksgiving Day

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Posted 11-11-2011 at 02:23 PM by lauriebear

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States every year on the fourth Thursday in November. On this day the American families gather and enjoy the Thanksgiving feast, which includes Turkey, with all the trimmings. They also offer Thanksgiving prayers to God on this day and sing songs to praise Him.

History of American Thanksgiving

The 1st Thanksgiving Day, set aside for the special purpose of prayer and celebrations, was decreed by Governor William Bradford in July 30, 1623. There were harvest festivals, or days of thanking God for plentiful crops because that year the Pilgrim's fall harvest was very successful and plentiful after a period of drought. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. The Governor proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.

The event, however, was a one-time celebration and was not intended to be an annual festival. It was not even repeated the following year. It was only after 55 years that another Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed. The Governing Council of Charlestown, Massachusetts convened on June 20, 1676 to weigh how to best express thanks for the good fortune that had secured the establishment of their community. By unanimous vote, Edward Rawson (the Clerk of the Council) was instructed to announce June 29 as a Day of Thanksgiving that year. But this time also the event proved to be just a one-time event.

Then the Continental Congress suggested a day of national thanksgiving during the American Revolution in late 1770's. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states also did the same.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday for Thanksgiving in America.
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