Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Nonetheless, this post is chock full of interesting historical tidbits and we hope you enjoy it and your 4-5 day Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.
Unless there's something that happens in the next couple days worth commenting on, we will be back on Monday resuming our passion i.e. informing people of the truth of things..
~ * ~ A History of 'Thanksgiving' in America ~ * ~
December 4, 1619-- 38 English settlers arrived at Berkely Hundred which comprised about 8,000 acres on the north bank of the James River, about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, Virginia where the first permanent settlement had been established in 1607.
The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving" to God.
During the Indian Massacre of 1622, nine of the settlers at Berkeley Hundreds were killed, as well as about a third of the entire population of the Virginia Colony. The remaining colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points.
This was continued in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance, and later as a civil tradition. The Pilgrims were taught by the Indians how to catch eel and grow corn.
Additionally the Wampanoag Indian leader Massasoithad caused food stores to be donated to the fledgling colony during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. The Pilgrims set apart a day to celebrate at Plymouth immediately after their first harvest.
Charlestown, Mass, held the first recorded Thanksgiving observance June 29, 1671 by proclamation of the town's governing council.
During the 18th century individual colonies commonly observed days of thanksgiving throughout each year. We might not recognize a traditional Thanksgiving Day from that period, as it was not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today's custom, but rather a day set aside for prayer and fasting.
No Thanksgiving proclamations were issued by Thomas Jefferson but James Madison, the 4th President, renewed the tradition in 1814, in response to resolutions of Congress, at the close of the War of 1812. Madison also declared the holiday twice in 1815; however, none of these were celebrated in autumn.
November, 1863-- In the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863 and since then, has been observed annually in the United States.
During the second half of the 19th century, Thanksgiving traditions in America varied from region to region. A traditional New England Thanksgiving, for example, consisted of a raffle held on Thanksgiving eve (in which the prizes were mainly geese or turkeys), a shooting match on Thanksgiving morning (in which turkeys and chickens were used as targets) then church services.
This was followed by the traditional feast which consisted of some familiar Thanksgiving staples such as turkey and pumpkin pie, and some not-so-familiar dishes such as pigeon pie.
In New York City, people would dress up in fanciful masks and costumes and roam the streets in merry-making mobs. By the end of the century these mobs had morphed into "ragamuffin parades" comprised mostly of costumed children, and by the 20th century the tradition had mostly vanished though is still celebrated in some communities.
At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr, founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy's & also currently Bloomingdales), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving back a week to expand the shopping season.
Many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change.
Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt's change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas could not decide and took both days as government holidays.
After 1941, Thanksgiving became a matter of federal law.
The reference to the financial impact (that it is the day that many retailers begin to show a profit for the year) came a few years later in 1982 on ABC's "World News Tonight".
As a shopping 'day', Black Friday didn't really begin to pick up steam until the mid-late 1990s and then grew and grew into a phenomenon.
Nonetheless, its not the busiest shopping day of the year statistically.. That honor is reserved for December 23rd and 24th when all the people who put off Christmas suddenly realize they may not give a bleep about it but their spouses and children Do, and thus start shopping..
~ 1870 sketch..