Giving Thanks

A time of Thanksgiving is observed in many countries throughout the world. The holidays may vary in time and season but, in many cases, originate with the idea of a harvest festival. This goes back to ancient times where people would give thanks to their gods for a good harvest. Today, some may give thanks in memory of an event in their particular country’s history while other countries have adopted Thanksgiving celebrations out of commercialism. There are many reasons for these celebrations.

In the United States, Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated since the time of the Founding Fathers. It has had the date of the fourth Thursday in November since 1863. President Abraham Lincoln finally made the proclamation during the Civil War after writer and magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale had been writing about the need of a set date for many years.

In 1939, towards the end of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to move the date to the third Thursday. This was expected to boost revenue through sales as people would supposedly be shopping for Christmas. He changed it back in 1941 as it did not have the economic result he had expected and the public had not appreciated the change. 1941 was also the year that the U.S. entered World War II and so eliminated what effects still lingered on from the Depression.

The origin of the word “pandemic” is from the Greek pandemos meaning
“pertaining to all people; public or common.” This year has been different than most with the pandemic that has swept over the world. However, we still have much to be thankful for. I hope, if you are celebrating, you are enjoying a wonderful start to your holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

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