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HISTORY OF THE DAY FOR THANKS

The history of Thanksgiving and its unique origin.

Victoria Mossman, Staff Writer

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There are quite a few holidays that are known nationwide. Halloween is known for its tradition of trick-or-treating and its spooky atmosphere. Christmas is known for Santa Claus, gifts underneath the tree, and so much more. And don’t forget the 4th of July, known for the fireworks and barbeques. Because of this expectation for holidays to have sweets and fun events, there is one holiday that just doesn’t seem to meet this “outline” that the rest portray.

Almost every month has a holiday to represent it and for November that is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was originally celebrated in 1621 on the fourth Thursday of the month of November. Every child is taught about that fateful feast between the Pilgrims and the Indians in the New World. The Indians introduced the idea of giving thanks to the pilgrims so as to show their thankfulness for the information and beliefs they had shared through a grand meal of their own crops and other foods. In schools, children run around with paper hats and feathered headbands, dressing up as the Indians and Pilgrims to reenact the first Thanksgiving.

Although, what you don’t learn as a kid is that, nationally, Thanksgiving wasn’t made an actual holiday until 1863—when President Abraham Lincoln decided to declare a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. So, technically the first Thanksgiving was presented by the Indians and Pilgrims, but the first Thanksgiving that was governmentally acknowledged was in the midst of the Civil War. It’s amazing to realize that what the Pilgrims and Indians had arranged for as a simple thanks to each other for their help and beliefs had later become an official day to sit down and truly give thanks for all the blessings in life.

In the current day and age, Thanksgiving is a more complicated and diverse situation. Most of the nation decides to gather their family and sit down to a glorious feast filled with things such as turkey, cranberry sauce, corn, stuffing, biscuits, and so on, while a sizeable plurality decides to just skip over it. Neither situation is wrong, either—there’s even a gray area where people simply order takeout or spend time with their friends to celebrate. However you see it, Thanksgiving is not a requirement. Thanksgiving is simply a day for the people of the nation to slow down and truly think about what they are thankful for.

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HISTORY OF THE DAY FOR THANKS