NowX - November 2018

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FROM THE DESK OF Ron Cousins

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THE HISTORY BEHIND THANKSGIVINGTRADITIONS T urkey , F ootball , and B lack F riday

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You know when you hear a story that is so funny you just have to share? An older gentleman made his traditional stop for lunch at the local Dairy Queen one day and scoured the menu longer than usual. While placing his order he told the employee he was looking to try something different, but was on a limited budget. His eyes lit up excitedly and said “Ah! I’ve never had one of these before and it shows it’s free — I want to try your weefee.”The order taker searched through the options in front of her on the computer, but could not find the item. Completely confused, she

“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.” –O. Henry

In our lifetimes, Thanksgiving hasn’t changed all that much. Sure, you may have modernized the menu and begun posting your family photos to Instagram, but the tried-and-true quartet of family, football, grub, and gratitude has been in place for generations. While it’s easy to take holiday traditions as a given, each one has a fascinating history all its own. Christmas trees, Valentine’s chocolate, and other de rigueur activities often have strange, unexpected origins. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the backstories behind some of the essential Thanksgiving traditions. TURKEY Unlike other items on this list, it’s likely that turkey has been a staple of Thanksgivings since the first Thanksgiving in 1621. At the time, the holiday didn’t even have a name, and it was still more than 200 years away from being officially recognized by Abraham Lincoln. There are only two primary source documents detailing the meal between the Massachusetts colonists and the Wampanoag natives, and one of them mentions the famous Thanksgiving bird explicitly. Plymouth County Governor William Bradford described the menu in his journal “Of Plymouth Plantation,”which is one of the earliest accounts of life in Colonial America. “Besides waterfowl,” he wrote, “there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.” As the colonists moved throughout the continent, they brought turkeys with them. In fact, there was even a specific role, called a “turkey drover,” for the person who would shepherd the birds from one part of the country to another.

asked where on the menu the man was looking. He pointed directly to the

spot that said “Free WiFi”. I got quite the kick out of that, hope you did, too!

Dedicated to your success,

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