Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you spend this day giving thanks to the Lord for your many blessings.

We know that thanksgiving has been celebrated by many cultures throughout history. However, here in the United States of America, we know of it's first celebration in December of 1621. The pilgrims, under the leadership of William Bradford, and their Indian friends with their leader, Massasoit, shared a three day feast giving thanks to the Lord for their provision.

In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, we celebrated our first Day of Thanksgiving to God . That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities." Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.

Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.

Lincoln's original 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation came - spiritually speaking - at a pivotal point in his life. During the first week of July of that year, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous "Gettsysburg Address." It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to a friend:
"When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ."

Here is Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation:
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
[Signed]A. Lincoln

I hope you've enjoyed this short history lesson. The truth of this holiday and what it stands for seems to have been swallowed up in the modern culture, changed in the history books, and turned into a day for parades, football, and getting ready for the black Friday sales.

You can find all of this information online. Here's a couple good sources where I copied text from: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g007.html , http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/source/sb2/sb2w.htm

Since you have taken the time to read through this post, I'd like to thank you with this little freebie that I created to go with my Autumn's Allure kit. You can download it HERE (Sorry, this link has expired)

Have a wonderful day of thanks to the Lord,
Laurinda

2 comments:

FamilyHistoryScrapper said...

Laurinda, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Thanks so much for the beautiful cluster frame and for all the great info.
My daughter is a school teacher and info like this is always helpful. Thanks again for sharing your designs.
Ruth

Digi Free said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 28 Nov [LA 03:41am, NY 06:41am, UK 11:41am, OZ 10:41pm] ).