Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I do hope you are all getting Thanksgiving Day and Friday off this week, whether or not you are American, or in a country that makes this a National Holiday.

Just for fun, NatGeo's, "Thanksgiving 2010 Myths and Facts"

And now....

The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened with the Pilgrims and local indigenous tribes (Indians) in 1621 at Plymouth [Rock], Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).

In the United States the word "Pilgrims" usually refers to the English settlers of New England, who celebrated the "First Thanksgiving" with the Native Americans in 1621.

Plymouth Rock was founded by a group of separatists and Anglicans, who together later came to be known as the Pilgrim Fathers, Plymouth Colony was, along with Jamestown, Virginia, one of the earliest successful colonies to be founded by the English in North America and the first sizable permanent English settlement in the New England region. Aided by Squanto, a Native American of the Patuxet people, the colony was able to establish a treaty with Chief Massasoit which helped to ensure the colony's success. The colony played a central role in King Philip's War, one of the earliest of the Indian Wars. Ultimately, the colony was annexed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

Despite the colony's relatively short history, Plymouth holds a special role in American history. Rather than being entrepreneurs like many of the settlers of Jamestown, a significant proportion of the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship as they saw fit. The social and legal systems of the colony became closely tied to their religious beliefs, as well as English custom. Many of the people and events surrounding Plymouth Colony have become part of American folklore, including the North American tradition known as Thanksgiving and the monument known as Plymouth Rock.

- From Wikipedia


On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks to God, for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving, our first. That proclamation is reproduced here in the same language and spelling as the original.

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard..."

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many
The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth by By Jennie A. Brownscombe

By Jennie A. Brownscombe [1914]
The Pilgrim Society
Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."

History notwithstanding, and for whatever reason you have a feeling to give thanks for your life, have a great Holiday!

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