A Day to Be Thankful


Photo Courtesy of (Bettmann / Corbis)

Jack Mogen, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again when the national demand for turkey spikes, the Thanksgiving season. In fact on this day, November 26th, in 1941 FDR signed a bill officially making the 4th Thursday of November Thanksgiving day. However, the first time the fourth Thursday of thanksgiving was made a national holiday was actually in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. FDR had moved the holiday to the third Thursday to increase retail sales during the Great Depression. Such a departure from tradition was not taken to very kindly and within two years he had switched it back. 

Numerous cultures and civilizations have feasted after fall harvests for millennia, even the Separatists and Puritans arriving upon the Mayflower were accustomed to feasts during times of plenty and fasting when food was scarce. This was a tradition that was carried on in most of New England. Becoming a national affair thanks to Lincoln who put a nice “healing the country” spin on the event. So technically thank division and strife for our excuse to feast on turkey and deal with our families this Thanksgiving.