Giving thanks deserves a national holidayWhy do we have Thanksgiving? In the mid-1800s, Sarah J. Hale, a poet, lobbied for a national Thanksgiving holiday. In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November so to be.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Why do we have Thanksgiving?
In the mid-1800s, Sarah J. Hale, a poet, lobbied for a national Thanksgiving holiday. In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November so to be.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939, 1940 and 1941 proclaimed it to be the third Thursday to lengthen Christmas shopping season. Then in 1941, Congress decreed it to be the fourth Thursday.
How did Black Friday get in between Thanksgiving and the weekend?
One theory is that small businesses would start making a profit then with the beginning of Christmas shopping; They could lay aside the red pen for recording losses and start using the black ink for profits.
Our forefathers undoubtedly recognized the need of giving thanks in our country’s earlier days, but the reasons to be thankful are just as plentiful today. To stimulate your thinking, if you don’t immediately feel you owe thanks, I’m going to list some of mine. They may cause you to re-examine your life and discover a great number. For me it was:
Being born in America. Even though, we should continue to improve as a country, we have a lot to be thankful for. We are a wealthy nation and have the ability to correct problems such as our oversized debt, our immoral gap of wealth between the elite and people in poverty among other problems.
In my case, I was lucky to be born, into a white, healthy family with farm land in a northern state.
My mother had only a third grade education, and would leave no stone unturned to keep me, an only child, in school even when it necessitated her doing outside farm work.
I had an eight-grade teacher in a very poor rural school that used her library card to get books for me from the public library.
For having served in World War II, I was given the opportunity of higher education.
I married a lady who blessed me with three great children and 54 years of a happy life.
I was permitted, by hiring officials, to teach grades 7-l2, serve as principal, superintendent and college professor for a total of 41 years.
After losing my wife of 54 years, I had the good fortune of finding another great lady. What more could I possibly ask for?
What more can any healthy educated person with employment or retirement and livable income have reason to give thanks? I’ll wager that most readers can develop a long list too. Maybe that is why Thanksgiving was recognized as being important enough to declare a national holiday.
Let me conclude with one verse from a poem by Bud Brand:
I walked up to
the wishing well
and through in a
I didn’t ask
that I be blest
for already I
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior.