Thanksgiving’s History

In this month’s SLC Homes News
There will be no numbers, or analytical reviews
Thanksgiving is upon us, in just a couple days
My number one favorite, of all the holidays.

It’s the start of our winter holiday season
When people are happy, for so many reasons
Thanksgiving eve, the busiest travel day of the year
We’re traveling to see our families, with holiday cheer

Thanksgiving in America, began back in 1621
The year after the Mayflower’s voyage had begun
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, for a new land of freedom
And established Plymouth, Massachusetts, up in New England

They encountered Squanto, a Native who spoke English
Squanto taught the pilgrims how to grow corn and catch fish
Their first harvest was a success, so in November 1621
Pilgrims and natives gathered for a feast, Thanksgiving had begun

In 1789, George Washington issued a Thanksgiving proclamation
That days of thanks should be designated, in our then Revolutionary War nation
In 1827, the prolific writer and magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale
Started campaigning for Thanksgiving as a national holiday, she would not fail

For 36 years, Sarah wrote letter to governors, senators, presidents and politicians
Determined that Thanksgiving would be a national holiday, it was her life’s mission

In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln heeded Sarah’s request
And desiginated Thanksgiving a National Holiday on the last Thursday of November
For all the widows, orphans, mourners and suffering, that their loved ones be remembered

Thanksgiving was then celebrated, on the last Thursday of November
Until 1939, when it was moved to the second to last Thursday of November
During the Great Depression, in an effort to stimulate retail sales
FDR moved it up a week, to try to balance the economic scales

But the new Thanksgiving day, was met with passion, by those who opposed it
FDR had made a mistake, and being FDR, he was willing to own it
So in 1941, a compromise was made, and Thanksgiving became the fourth Thursday of November, and it’s been that way to this day

Kind of funny that Black Friday, or Franksgiving as it was know in 1939, came as a result of the Great Depression, and that we have FDR to thank for that.

You may wonder how Squanto could speak English back in 1621.  Squanto (Tisqunatum), was a Native American of the Patuxet tribe of the western bay of Cape Cod.  In 1614, Squanto and 26 other Native American, were captured by Thomas Hunt, a trader and liaison of Captain John Smith.  Hunt sailed to Spain and sold the Native Americans into slavery.  Somehow, Squanto made it from Spain to England where he lived with a merchant who eventually sent him to Newfoundland.

In Newfoundland Squanto met Thomas Dermer, another of Captain John Smith’s associates, who was involved in settling and setting up trade in New England.  Dermer took Squanto with him to New England in 1619.  Sadly, Squanto returned to his native village to find it destroyed by an epidemic.  In 1621, Squanto was the liaison between Natives and Pilgrims, who settled in Squanto’s former summer village, now Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Squanto died of a disease in 1622.  Here’s a link to more about the fascinating life that Squanto lived (1580’s?-1622):

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, is also the writer of the children’s nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.  When she was a child, her parents believed in equal education for both genders, but she was mostly self taught.  She was a school teacher, magazine editor, prolific writer and mother of five.  Her husband died nine years after they married, so she was a single mom, and she wore black the rest of her life as a sign of her perpetual mourning.

Sarah was one of the first published female authors in America and one of the first American authors to write about ending slavery.  She worked until she was 89, and lived to age 90.  What an amazing person!  Here’s a link to more about Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879):

Enjoy the four day Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends, and give thanks for all you have, and all those you love!


Kevin Coyle
Realtor  Broker  MBA  CRS
SLC Homes
M: (801) 243-0699


Popular Posts