Thanksgiving is just hours away, a wonderful day of celebration, giving thanks and even giving to others. Restaurants and other businesses often give to the needy on this very special day.
The first Thanksgiving is reported to have been in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated the autumn harvest together. There are some Native Americans who do not believe the relationship between the Pilgrims and Native Americans was a good one. They call Thanksgiving the “National Day of Mourning” because of the massacre of Native Americans during that time.
When researching Thanksgiving, I read that President George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789. During the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thanksgiving was moved to the fourth Thursday in November.
For many people, Thanksgiving was/is a religious day, a day to give thanks to a higher power for one’s blessings It is also a special day to get together with family and friends and to remember the less fortunate by giving food or monetary donations to or for them. There are agencies, restaurants and churches to which donations can be made.
The name Thanksgiving lets us know what the day should be about: Thanks and giving.
Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree… More by Peggy Tarr