One's Observations

A collection of some things I observe along the way.


"The history of Thanksgiving goes all the way back to the second decade of English-speaking people in North America. Berkeley Plantation in Virginia is where the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1619 -- 12 years after the founding of the Virginia colony at Jamestown. Thanksgiving was the first uniquely American holiday."

"The first Thanksgiving was a religious celebration -- an occasion to thank God -- that featured only a modest meal. It wasn't until two years later, in 1621, that Thanksgiving was expanded to include a banquet by the pilgrims in Massachusetts."

"During his first year in office, President George Washington issued a proclamation calling for a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer." He made Thanksgiving a Day for a Free People to Acknowledge Their Debt to God."

"Washington had been a general who had spent eight years on the field of battle winning our freedom from Great Britain. Then he spent another six years creating the Constitution and the government that we still have 218 years later (the longest continuing constitutional government in the world). So Washington understood well the nature of a free society and its obligation to both thank God and seek His guidance."

"In his Thanksgiving proclamation, Washington wrote: "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor."

"During the very heart of the Civil War, in October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln built on President Washington's initiative and created an annual day of thanksgiving. Like Washington, Lincoln was determined to draw a direct tie between America and the Creator from whom Americans draw their rights."

"Lincoln acknowledged that the nation was "in the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity." But he focused instead on the nation's blessings, urging his fellow Americans to remember that "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."

"So we see historically, Thanksgiving is about renewing the bond between Americans and their Creator. It's a time when we are reminded that our rights come from God and that we have responsibilities to God as free citizens."

Content by Newt Gingrich



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