SARAH HALE How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday
Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays celebrated throughout the United States. One of the first documented Thanksgiving celebrations took place in 1621, when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast together. But the banquet, which celebrated the colonists’ first successful harvest, wasn’t just one large meal, nor did it last for only one day; in fact, the feast lasted for three days. In later years, Thanksgiving also lasted for longer than a single meal. During the time of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress chose several days throughout the year to celebrate giving thanks. Then, in 1789, George Washington made the U.S. national government’s first Thanksgiving proclamation. He used this to speak to his fellow American citizens about the Revolution’s satisfactory conclusion and encouraged them to show their thanks for the freedoms they gained.
Thanksgiving became a national holiday more than 200 years after its first celebration. It gained this status largely due to the persistence of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale was a successful magazine editor, prolific writer of novels and poems, and author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which was first published in her 1830 collection entitled “Poems for Our Children.” In 1827, Hale began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. For the next 36 years, she wrote numerous editorials and countless letters to state
Lincoln decided that the holiday would take place on the last Thursday of November. It was celebrated on that day until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving a week earlier in the hopes of increasing retail sales during the Great Depression. However, this plan was very unpopular, and in 1941, the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Without the efforts of Sarah Hale, we might not have the pleasure of the Thanksgiving feast we know and love to this day. This year, give thanks for family, good food, and the resolve of one woman who recognized
and federal officials expressing her desire that it gain official status.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln finally declared it a national holiday, hoping that it would help heal the wounds of the country.
the importance of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
Best DIY Gift Ideas For Everyone on Your List
Looking for gift ideas that don’t break the bank but still show the special people in your life how much you care? Do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are the way to go. Here are a few ideas to put together on a chilly night. Pull out your crafting supplies, turn on some holiday tunes, and get creative. Best DIY Gift to Make With the Little Ones: Handprint Apron Aunties, uncles, and godparents will love a gift that incorporates their favorite little ones, and it’s a great way to get the kids in on the project. Choose some unadorned aprons from your local craft or home goods store and some acrylic paint in a variety of colors. Then get crafty! The kids can use their handprints as a starting point and add other decorations as they like. You can also find some fun ideas on the blog Little Page Turner, like painting a butterfly from your kids’ stamped footprints. Have fun with it! Best DIY Gift for Your Bestie: Personalized Mug
the dollar store or thrift store, and get expressive! You could write a sweet or funny message (“but first, coffee” or “two shots, hold the chatter”) or list their favorite beverage (“coffee, no sugar” or “green tea”). Write something that makes them think of you, or create a simple drawing. Enjoy the artistic freedom as much as they’ll enjoy your thoughtful gift. Best DIY Gift for Someone Special: Memory Map Utilize a map, a pair of scissors, some glue, and your memories of meaningful places to create this sentimental gift. Choose map locations that are meaningful to you and your special person —where you met, where you celebrated special moments, where you first lived — and cut them out in geometric or heart shapes. Then, glue the cutouts to a piece of matboard. You can add kind words at each point, or let the places explain themselves. Place in a frame and gift to your loved one.
You only need a mug and an oven-safe or porcelain marker to create this personalized gift. Use a mug you already own, or pick one up from
2 • unitedconservatory.org
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