Thanksgiving Activities
 

From http://www.annieshomepage.com/thanksgivinghistory.html

What is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Day is a day set aside each year for giving thanks to God for blessings received during the year. On this day, people give thanks with feasting and prayer. The holiday is celebrated in the United States and Canada.

What is the History of Thanksgiving?
The first Thanksgiving Days in New England were harvest festivals, or days for thanking God for plentiful crops. For this reason, the holiday still takes place late in the fall, after the crops have been gathered. For thousands of years, people in many parts of the world have held harvest festivals. The American Thanksgiving Day probably grew out of the harvest-home celebrations of England.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is usually a family day, celebrated with big dinners and joyous reunions. The very mention of Thanksgiving often calls up memories of kitchens and pantries crowded with good things to eat. Thanksgiving is also a time for serious religious thinking, church services, and prayer.

The first Thanksgiving observance in America was entirely religious and did not involve feasting. On Dec. 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation, on the James River near what is now Charles City, Va. The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God.

The first Thanksgiving in New England was celebrated in Plymouth less than a year after the Plymouth colonists had settled in America. The first dreadful winter in Massachusetts had killed about half the members of the colony. But new hope arose in the summer of 1621. The settlers expected a good corn harvest, despite poor crops of peas, wheat, and barley. Thus, in early autumn, governor William Bradford arranged a harvest festival to give thanks to God for the progress the colony had made.

The festival lasted three days. The men of Plymouth had shot ducks, geese, and turkeys. The menu also included clams, eel and other fish, wild plums and leeks, corn bread, and watercress. The women of the settlement supervised cooking over outdoor fires. About 90 Indians also attended the festival. They brought five deer to add to the feast. Everyone ate outdoors at large tables and enjoyed games and a military review. Similar harvest Thanksgivings were held in Plymouth during the next several years, but no traditional date was set.

Later Thanksgiving Days in the United States. The custom of Thanksgiving Day spread from Plymouth to other New England colonies. During the Revolutionary War, eight special days of thanks were observed for victories and for being saved from dangers. In 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation naming November 26 a day of national thanksgiving. In the same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church announced that the first Thursday in November would be a regular yearly day for giving thanks.

For many years, the country had no regular national Thanksgiving Day. But some states had a yearly Thanksgiving holiday. By 1830, New York had an official state Thanksgiving Day, and other Northern states soon followed its example. In 1855, Virginia became the nation's first Southern state to adopt the custom.

Who is responsible for the Thanksgiving Holiday?
Sarah Josepha Hale, pronounced joh SEE fuh (1788-1879), became one of the most famous magazine editors in the United States during the 1800's. As editor of the Ladies' Magazine and, later, of Godey's Lady's Book, she helped shape the taste and thought of thousands of women.

She worked many years to promote the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day. She received credit for persuading President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Then President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November 1863, as "a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father." Each year afterward, for 75 years, the President formally proclaimed that Thanksgiving Day should be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set it one week earlier. He wanted to help business by lengthening the shopping period before Christmas. Congress ruled that after 1941 the fourth Thursday of November would be observed as Thanksgiving Day and would be a legal federal holiday.

Of her many writings, her major surviving work is the children's poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Sarah Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire.

How did we get the Thanksgiving Holiday?
Hale, Sarah Josepha, pronounced joh SEE fuh (1788-1879), became one of the most famous magazine editors in the United States during the 1800's. As editor of the Ladies' Magazine and, later, of Godey's Lady's Book, she helped shape the taste and thought of thousands of women. She received credit for persuading President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Of her many writings, her major surviving work is the children's poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Sarah Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire.

What is a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner?
Is it similar to a Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu?
 
A traditional Christmas dinner includes corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and a variety of other dishes. Some families have roast goose instead of turkey. Favorite desserts include pumpkin pie. I love the French green beans with Durkee Onion Rings on top. Fluffy Biscuits and home made Gravy too.

Assignments- Thanksgiving Day Budget
 
 

 

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Title: Thanksgiving Day History (Amended) & Activities
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