George Washington: Father of Thanksgiving

Even if the first thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621, it became a national holiday in 1789 when George Washington issued a proclamation on the Constitution. He named November 26 as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks”.

This holiday was first celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World. The colonist held a celebration of food and feasting that took three days. After that it was a common practice for The New England colonists to celebrate it by thanking God for blessings such as military victory. It was a day set aside for prayer and fasting.

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899). Property of wikipedia.

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899).

George Washington was the first president of United States, he was born on colonial virginia in 1732. His wealty family owned tobacco plantations and slaves, that he inherited. He desired to free them and abolish slavery. Washington was elected president  in the elections of both 1788-1789 and 1792. He create a strong, well-financed national government, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.

When George Washington proclaimed this day as a national date until now, each of the states periodically designated a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory. Nowadays it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and it has become a day of feasting, football and family.  Its aim is to give thanks to God for those military victories and for what they have in general. It is with Christmas and New Year part of the broader season. A great excuse for Americans to come together around the table and share his love for the nation.

Families and friends usually get together in this day for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables.  Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for visiting their relatives. Before the meal people usually find different activities to do. Some families play football games while other could play charades, tell stories, share photos around or just go to a walk as a family. Another important thing to do in thanksgiving is to help the less fortunate people on that day. People might make donations to the homeless. They give money or just cloths, food or any useful thing. There are also people that volunteer time before or during Thanksgiving to help at a homeless shelter.

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Property of getty images.

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One thought on “George Washington: Father of Thanksgiving

  1. E.Negri says:

    Good only be careful: The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899) is not property of wikipedia (it’s property of Jean Leon Gerome Ferris himself! so no need to add property of.

    Like

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