Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to All America!

Picture credit and White House Thanksgiving photo site: President Bush and children pet the White House Turkeys "May" and "Flower" in the White House Rose Garden.

Here is a site about the pardoning of "May" and "Flower." That ogre Dick Cheney wanted to name them "Lunch" and "Dinner," but he didn't have the votes! You can watch the President pardon these birds on a video link on the right at this site.

The President promises: "They'll be shortly flown to Disney World, where they will serve as Honorary Grand Marshals for the Thanksgiving Day Parade."

The one in my refrigerator will not be so fortunate!

Here is the official White House Thanksgiving site for 2007! The site has many reflections on how this holiday has evolved over the years and what it means for our nation.

The President and his family will feast on a traditional Thanksgiving menu at Camp David.

Here is the President's Thanksgiving greeting from Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia. President Bush tells us, "Berkeley also claims to be the site of America's first official Thanksgiving." It's a pretty interesting story, but I am still partial to the Plymouth Plantation story.

Historical information about the history of the more famous Plymouth Thanksgiving story can be found here. The History Channel has provided an interesting account of the history of America's Thanksgiving holiday. The only account written at the time of the 1621 Plymouth Thanksgiving was Edward Winslow's December 1621 letter:

"Our Corne did proue well, & God be praysed, we had a good increase of Indian Corne, and our Barly indifferent good, but our Pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sowne, they came vp very well, and blossomed, but the Sunne parched them in the blossome; our harvest being gotten in, our Governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst vs, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoyt, with some nintie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed fiue Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed upon our Governour, and upon the Captaine, and others. And although it be not alwayes so plentifull, as it was at this time with vs, yet by the goodneses of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Edward Winslow, Plymouth, in New England, this 11th of December, 1621. in A RELATION OR Iournal of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plimoth in NEW ENGLAND, by certaine English Aduenturers both Merchants and others. LONDON, Printed for Iohn Bellamie, 1622. pp. 60-61.

[See this interesting site called "Primary Sources for the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving" and the homepage called "The True Thanksgiving Story."]

Wikipedia also has an overview of the most famous history of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation.

Wikipedia describes the history of Bradford's manuscript:

In the years following his death, the manuscript was referenced by several New England historians, including Bradford's nephew Nathaniel Morton who published New England's Memorial in 1669. After remaining in the hands of the Bradford family for nearly a century, the manuscript passed to the Reverend Thomas Prince who used it in his writing of Chronological History in 1736.

After Prince's death, the manuscript was left in the tower of the Old South Church of Boston. During the Revolutionary War, British troops occupied the church and the manuscript was lost for another century. In the 1850s, it was discovered in the Bishop of London's library at Fulham Palace, and was published in print in 1856. Formal proposals to return the manuscript were not successful until the 1897 initiative of the Hon. George Hoar, United States Senator from Massachusetts, supported by the Pilgrim Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Society of New York. The Bradford journal was presented to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is on deposit in the State Library in the State House in Boston. In 1912, the Massachusetts Historical Society published a "final" authorized version of the text.

Giving Thanks for all our blessings has a long history in America. Here is President Bush's official proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, 2007:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

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