- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 10 Hour
- Reading permission
Myth@#3 ---come to an end
George Washington declared a Thanksgiving in 1789 after the United States first established a government, but Thanksgiving didn't go national until the mid-19th century. This was largely the work of magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, who conducted a letter-writing campaign calling for Thanksgiving to be declared a national holiday. President Lincoln responded, issuing a Thanksgiving proclamation that set aside the last Thursday in November of 1863 for gratitude.|
In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt touched off a two-year squabble when he moved the holiday to the third Thursday to give store owners a leg up on holiday shopping. Detractors dubbed the relocated holiday "Franksgiving," and in 1941 Congress finally made the fourth Thursday in November the official day. So, in truth, it took 320 years to make Thanksgiving stick.
Myth #3: The United States invented Thanksgiving
No country does gluttony quite like the United States. The Calorie Control Council, an industry group, says that Americans consume as much as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, as much as twice what the FDA recommends for an entire day. That said, humans have been holding harvest festivals for ages. We may wish we invented Thanksgiving, but we didn't.
In ancient times, Middle Eastern peoples offered wheat to "The Great Mother" or "Mother of the Wheat." In medieval times, central Europeans celebrated their harvests at Feast of Saint Martin on November 11th. And we can all be thankful our celebrations aren't like those of the Aztecs, who each year would behead a young girl representing Xilonen, the corn goddess.
Colorful traditions aside, human beings have found reasons to be thankful--and reasons to celebrate--for as long as we can trace our history. What people have felt thankful for has certainly changed over the years. The Pilgrims were happy to be alive. The Founding Fathers were happy to have established a government. And Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation expressed thanks that the Civil War had not destroyed the country.