News Notes

Happy Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration held by the pilgrims of Plymouth colony in the 17th century.
The first Thankgiving feast was held to celebrate the successful fall harvest. Celebrating a fall harvest was an English tradition at the time, and the pilgrims had much to celebrate and thank God for.
There were 53 pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving – the only colonists who survived the long journey on the Mayflower and the first winter in the New World.
They survived with the help of the local Wampanoag tribe, 90 of whom were guests at the feast. One of the tribe members, a young man named Squanto, spoke fluent English, and had been appointed by their leader, Massasoit, as the pilgrim’s translator and guide.
The feast celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621 was never actually called “Thanksgiving” by the colonists. A few years later, in July 1623, the pilgrims did hold what they called a “Thanksgiving,” a religious day of prayer and fasting that had nothing to do with the fall harvest.
In 1789, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving. Other presidents did not continue the declaration, though.
Finally, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. America was in the middle of its bloody Civil War at the time, and Lincoln hoped the new holiday would unify the bitterly divided country.
This year, the folks at the Shopper wish our readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We give thanks to God for our many blessings, and we ask The Lord to bless this great nation.

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