Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As a reminder, the library will be closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving. We will open Friday at our usual time. Also, there is no story time on Wednesday. We will see you again next Wed (1 Dec) at 1000 in the children's library.

Ok, Now that we have the book keeping out of the way, lets talk about our favorite harvest festival, here in the United States. What is it? Where did it come from? What's up with all the football?

While it's since moved away from religious roots, Thanksgiving is still a day to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, and for that which we have--friends, family and material comforts alike. Harvest celebrations are a long tradition of many cultures, including European and Native American, including sharing food and company, so the first Thanksgiving, whenever it was, was not a far stretch for either culture.

Some say it started in 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation, but it may have started even earlier in Canada or Florida. It's still celebrated in Canada (October) and Florida (same day as the rest of the country, silly!) to this day. It's also celebrated in Leidenk in the Netherlands, and there is another similar holiday on the same day celebrated on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea. Thanksgiving gets around a bit!

The date's floated around a bit, too. We're used to it being the fourth Thursday of November, but it wasn't actually fixed there until 1941. "The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving" was given by the Continental Congress in 1777. December 18th (a Thursday) was actually the date set aside for a day of "solemn thanksgiving and praise. Later, in 1789, George Washington declared Thursday, November 26th, to be the first "Thanksgiving Day." Lincoln later declared that Thanksgiving Day should be the last Thursday in November--which is, consequently, different than the fourth Thursday, especially in months with five Thursdays.

And it was only moved back (theoretically by a week) by FDR in 1941 to expand the shopping season by a week, since back then, it was considered bad form to start advertising for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Aren't you glad we don't have that problem now days?

 Sure, we have our fall harvest foods, like squash and apples and potatoes and corn and turkey, all great traditions on Thanksgiving day. But we've also picked up a few other traditions, such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been running since 1924. Football has also been a mainstay on Thanksgiving since 1902, from professional football, with the Detroit Lions hosting a match every  year since 1934, to college (who isn't going to be watching the Border Showdown between the Jayhawks and Tigers, come on--be honest!) and high school football. The roar of the crowed and the exclamations of the color commentators have been just as much of a part of our Thanksgiving tradition as pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes for as long as many of us can remember.

So when you're trying to figure out if the turkey really is done, or are watching Detroit play, yet again, or if you're setting up your holiday decorations early, or spending time with friends and family, volunteering, or are at religious services, just remember that you're part of the big long history of Thanksgiving. Have a safe and happy holiday.

And if you want to tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it starts at 8000, on NBC. ;)

No comments:


This site is intended solely to showcase the resources and services of the Combined Arms Research Library. The information in this site does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Department of the Army. Any mention of or use of a product or company name is for educational purposes and does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army, Combined Arms Center Fort Leavenworth or the US Army Command and General Staff College.

While this is an open forum, it's also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and posts clean.

You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided.

Comments and posts that violate any of the guidelines listed below may be removed:

• Do not post graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments . We also do not allow comments that are abusive, hateful, vindictive or intended to defame anyone or any organization.

• Do not post any solicitations (i.e.: asking users to "like" your Facebook page, visit your website, sign a petition, contribute to a fundraiser).

• Do not post advertisements, prize contests or giveaways. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency.

• Do not post details about an ongoing investigation or legal or administrative proceeding that could prejudice the processes or could interfere with an individual's rights will be deleted from this page.

• Apparent spamming or trolling will be removed and may cause the author(s) to be blocked from the page without notice.

• Do not post copyrighted or trademarked images or graphics. Imagery posted on the Facebook wall should be owned by the user.

• Do not post comments, photos or videos that suggest or encourage illegal activity.

• Do not post political propaganda.

• Do not post documents of any kind.

• All information posted to social media sites will be unclassified. No FOUO (for official use only), classified, pre-decisional, proprietary or business-sensitive information should ever be posted or discussed on this page. Don’t post personnel lists, rosters, organization charts or directories. This is a violation of privacy.

The appearance of external links or the use of third-party applications on this site does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Army or Department of Defense.

For more information, visit the DoD Social Media user agreement at:

You are encouraged to quote, republish or share any content on this site on your own blog, Web site or other communication/publication. If you do so, please credit the Army unit or the person who authored the content as a courtesy.