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Re: [civilwarwest] OT: Origins of ThanksgivingĀ 

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  • Huddleston.r@attbi.com
    Steve, While the celebration of a Day of Thanksgiving has a number of contenders as the First, the National Holiday we will observe tomorrow is a result of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2002
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      Steve,

      While the celebration of a Day of Thanksgiving has a number of contenders as
      the "First," the National Holiday we will observe tomorrow is a result of
      President Lincoln's proclaiming a national day in November 1863.

      National Thanksgivings were proclaimed annually by Congress from 1777 to 1783
      which, except for 1782, were all celebrated in December. After a five year
      hiatus, the practice was revived by President Washington in 1789 and 1795.
      John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799, while James Madison
      declared the holiday twice in 1815; none of these were celebrated in the
      autumn.

      After 1815, there were no further national Thanksgivings until the Civil War.
      As sectional differences widened in the Antebellum period, it was impossible
      achieve the consensus to have a national Thanksgiving. The southern states
      were generally unreceptive to a "Yankee" custom being pressed on them by the
      federal government. If the federal government neglected the tradition,
      however, the individual states did not. The New England states continued to
      declare annual Thanksgivings (usually in November, although not always on the
      same day), and eventually most of the other states also had independent
      observations of the holiday. New Englanders were born proselyters and wherever
      they went during the great westward migration they introduced their favorite
      holiday. Thanksgiving was adopted first in the Northeast and in the Northwest
      Territory, then by the middle and western states. At mid-century even the
      southern states were celebrating their own Thanksgivings.

      What made Lincoln's proclamation unique was that it mandated a day for the
      entire country.

      Interestingly, the holiday continued to occur as a result of presidential
      proclamations rather than a law. The "official" holiday was a result of a law
      signed by President Roosevelt on November 26, 1941.
      --
      Take care,

      Bob

      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      huddleston.r@...
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