Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Origins Of Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is here! All across the country, people are traveling to their friends and family members to celebrate another fun-filled holiday filled with incredible food and even better memories. How much do you know about the origins of our Thanksgiving celebrations? This week, the team at McDuffey Law Firm is here to offer a unique look at the early beginnings of this great holiday.

The First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims first arrived in the New World in the autumn of 1920, full of hope for a new existence filled with religious freedom. Unfortunately, they were unprepared for the harsh New England winter; almost half of them did not survive. However, the local Wampanoag Indians helped the survivors to plant and reap a bountiful harvest the following year.

The first official Thanksgiving festival was held on December 13, 1621 as a way for the Pilgrims (along with the Indians) to celebrate and give thanks for their harvest. Squashes, chicken, rabbit, lobster, leeks, dried fruits, cabbage, carrots, radishes, eggs, hickory nuts, chestnuts, honey, goat cheese, and maple syrup are all believed to have been served at this momentous feast.

The Evolution Of Thanksgiving

Subsequent Thanksgiving celebrations were held by the Pilgrims and American citizens at several various occasions, such as the end of a long drought and the conclusion of the American Revolution. Individual states and colonies continued to hold their own Thanksgiving celebrations until 1871, when New York became the first state to adopt Thanksgiving as an official holiday.

In 1827, writer and editor Sara Josepha Hale (who authored "Mary Had a Little Lamb," among countless other things) began campaigning to have Thanksgiving established as a national holiday. She worked on this mission tirelessly until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln finally declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up by a full week in an attempt to prolong the holiday shopping season and spur the economy during the Great Depression. This switch was met by a great deal of opposition, however; Roosevelt eventually compromised by signing a bill designating Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November.

Happy Thanksgiving From McDuffey Law Firm!

394 years after the Pilgrims celebrated the First Thanksgiving, this great American tradition is still going strong. On behalf of all of us at our personal injury law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks, we hope you have a great holiday with your family! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at McDuffey Law Firm, LLC.

McDuffey Law Firm, LLC
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