While Thanksgiving is typically associated with the Pilgrims of Massachusetts in the United States, early Thanksgiving celebrations date back to the time of King Henry VIII in England and were intended to celebrate special events or blessings. These original celebrations in England could occur at any time following one of those special events.
United States History and Picking the Perfect Day
In the United States, it was President George Washington who first declared a nation-wide Thanksgiving celebration on November 26, 1789. It was to be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God“. In its early years, Thanksgiving could occur on various days and many times different states celebrated the event on different dates. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as the official day to celebrate. This would be the first year Thanksgiving was celebrated on the same day in every state. The date changed once again in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt declared the 4th Thursday of each November as the official Thanksgiving holiday and there it remains to this day.
Today We Still Celebrate by Giving Thanks
While the historical significance of celebrating a good harvest started the original Thanksgiving, today it is still a time to be grateful for all the blessings we have in our lives. Friends and family will gather around a table, enjoy a delicious meal, and be reminded of the good fortune and blessings in their lives.
Give Thanks Every Day
We often think about all the blessings in our lives, not just on Thanksgiving. It reminds us that we are fortunate to have our health, great friends, loving family, and each other. On this Thanksgiving we will also remember how blessed we are for the many wonderful people we have met along the way in our travels. We may have met you in passing, spent a meal, or spent a week, regardless we feel you are all blessings and are thankful for having met each and every one of you along the way!
So to all of our friends from around the states and around the world – Happy Thanksgiving to you all – however you celebrate it!
Lisa and Cheryl