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Turkey Day Tidbits
By Alex Carrier

PilgrimsThursday is Thanksgiving and Americans are making last minute preparations for the trip, the meal and the company. Here is a cornucopia of Thanksgiving tidbits and trivia for your hoped for enjoyment.

Virginia natives and newcomers alike have a problem with the whole “official” first Thanksgiving story. More than a few feathers are ruffled over the Mayflower “come-latelys” and those pesky Plymouth pilgrims.

Popular history says the first Thanksgiving occurred at Plymouth colony in 1621 when Governor William Bradford declared a day of thanksgiving for the good harvest. Since the colonists’ Native American neighbors taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World, the Indians were invited to share in the feast. Native Americans

While the story is accurate to a point, Virginians know Bradford and the Plymouth Pilgrims were not the first to break bread with the Native Americans in a feast of thanksgiving. A full year before the Mayflower set sail for the New World, Virginia colonists held the chronologically accurate first thanksgiving service on December 4, 1619. A present day brick gazebo marks the site at Virginia’s Berkeley Plantation.

The true first Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Captain John Woodlief as a day to be celebrated every year in thanks for the colonists’ safe arrival.

In 1789, another Virginian first, President Georgeshopping Washington proclaimed November 26th as the official Thanksgiving Day. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Tuesday of November would be the official American Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day 1939 got permanently connected to holiday shopping. President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the holiday’s date to the third Thursday in November in an effort to boost the economy by extending the Christmas shopping season. In 1941, he moved it to the fourth Thursday in November, which is now celebrated nationally as Thanksgiving Day.

You have the correct date for the first historical Thanksgiving and know the present celebratory day so let’s introduce the real star of show – the turkey?

turkeyIf Ben Franklin had chosen the national bird, it would have been the turkey rather than the bald eagle. Franklin considered the turkey to have better morals than the eagle and to be a better representation of the nation’s true moral character.

Although there have been numerous news reports of wild turkeys attacking mailmen and chasing cars, I prefer to think of the bald eagle as a better representation of a strong America.

Which brings me to this thought. If the turkey was the national bird, would we be carving into it on Thanksgiving Day? ThanksgivingWould we be plucking feathers from the Bald (it’s a color not a lack of feathers) Eagle instead? Luckily, Franklin lost the argument and we are able to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast complete with all the trimmings and the turkey.

From Boomer Journeys, Alex Carrier, Virginia Greene, Greene Lite and the Port Dingle Blog; our sincere wish that you and your families have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.




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