Thanksgiving Day hasn't always been celebrated at a set time each year like it is now. In fact sometimes the colonists' leaders would ask for days of prayer and fasting after hardships like drought and then celebrate with a day of thanksgiving when blessed with beneficial rains. The Continental Congress asked for a day of thanksgiving for the victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga whereas President George Washington declared a day of thanksgiving in recognition of the Constitution's ratification.
|Jefferson: Too busy to proclaim any days to offer thanks?|
President Thomas Jefferson never proclaimed any thanksgiving days and states often varied on its appropriateness. "A thanksgiving day was annually appointed by the governor of New York from 1817. In some of the Southern states there was opposition to the observance of such a day on the ground that it was a relic of Puritanic bigotry, but by 1858 proclamations appointing a day of thanksgiving were issued by the governors of 25 states and two territories." (Wikipedia article)
|Hale: Her editorials influenced a President|
Thanksgiving was not celebrated on a set day by the whole country until President Abraham Lincoln "prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863."
Later the day was changed to the fourth Thursday which means sometimes Thanksgiving is celebrated on the the last Thursday (such as this year) while some years it's the next to last Thursday. This was done in order to allow more of a Christmas shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I saw this on Wikipedia concerning this change and found it funny enough to share.
|Despite a civil war in the nation in 1863, Lincoln made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.|
"Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to Nov. 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and Nov. 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving" [because this change happened under Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt]. Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt's change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays."
I wonder what would happen if you had both Republicans and Democrats in the same family! Ha, ha! Maybe Texas had the right idea and one could celebrate both the last and next-to-last Thursdays with good meals!
The day after Thanksgiving - often referred to as Black Friday (and in this case "black" is something good unlike "Black Death" or "Black September") is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. That's why my family often looks through the sales ads at some point on Thanksgiving afternoon to see if there are any "must have" deals for those crazy enough [that'd usually be my sister!] to brave the massive crowds. The Thanksgiving edition of the paper is usually stocked with ads from stores trying to lure you to spend your money at their establishments.
|Some people actually enjoy the excitement of Black Friday sales and get most all their Christmas shopping finished.|
Do any of you plan to shop on Black Friday? Can anyone tell me why it's called Black Friday and why the "black" is good in this case? What do you think about Texas declaring both the Republican Thanksgiving and Franksgiving as national holidays? Anything here new to you as it was to me?