Monday, November 19, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

We all know the story of the First Thanksgiving, right?  The Pilgrims and the Indians of course! I was just in Isaac's classroom and this is what they learned.  While it's true that this was an important meal of Thanksgiving, I recently learned of the origin of the first official Thanksgiving holiday...and it's not anything I was taught in school.  Maybe you will find it as enlightening as I have.

In Rick Santorum's book, American Patriots, he writes of a patriot named Elias Boudinot.  "Boudinot served as one of the first four New Jersey members of the House of Representatives.  His reliance on God and his gratefulness for God's provision of the young country prompted Boudinot to propose a resolution in his first year as congressman that established "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer".  Boudinot proclaimed that he "could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining, with one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings he had poured down upon them."  President George Washington responded by issuing America's first federal thanksgiving proclamation."

Wikipedia shines further light on the subject..."As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."

To read the entire Proclamation written by George Washington, click here.  There is no doubt after reading this that our founding fathers knew to whom our thanks was due.  May we remember this as well as we celebrate with our friends and family this week.

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