“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
-Henry David Thoreau
Thanksgiving is celebrated in many forms throughout the world, and is generally considered a celebration of the harvest and good fortune of the year. American Thanksgiving is a national holiday, the origins of which are generally linked to a gathering of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621, though some would debate this.
Over the course of the next hundred plus years, a handful of dates stand out as being linked to “Thanksgiving” celebrations, but it was not until 1789 that President George Washington declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, asking Americans to come together to give thanks for the establishment of their government. It was President Abraham Lincoln who, in 1863, proclaimed that Thanksgiving be observed on the last Thursday of November. In subsequent years, controversy remained regarding the observation of Thanksgiving, until in 1941 Congress designated the fourth Thursday of November to be the legal holiday.
Modern day Thanksgiving in America conjures images of the four F’s: Food, Friends, Family and Football. The tradition of Thanksgiving Day football dates back to a Princeton-Yale game held in the mid- 1870’s. Food, of course, has always been a central component of holiday, and while it has changed over time the “classic” meal will consist of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry and pumpkin pie. While we may have drifted from the original intentions of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, we still take time to be thankful for our friends, family, and good fortune.
From the Elyse Harney Real Estate family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!