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Facts About Thanksgiving

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U.S. Army Thanksgiving meal in Afghanistan

Do you remember the poem Mary Had a Little Little Lamb?

I know what you are thinking, John, what in the world does that have to to with Thanksgiving? Well, you might be surprised to know that it has a lot to do with how we celebrate the holiday.

The author of the poem, Sarah Joespha Hale,  was a sublime  woman in American history who tirelessly lobbied with letter writing campaigns to congressmen, governors, as well as five presidents, trying to persuade them to have Thanksgiving recognized as a unified, national holiday. (see ref) Abraham Lincoln, ultimately heard her reasoning.

She was able to help Lincoln see that it could be a great tool that could help the country move forward after the Civil War. She sent her final letter on the subject t to him on September 28th, 1863. After reading the letter and considering her appeal, on October 3rd, 1863, the President decided to declare the last Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to this, there were only two national holidays, Independence Day and Washingtons birthday.

Sarah Hale also had a massive contribution as to how we celebrate the day. If she were alive today, she would have had her own Food Network program. She was the author of numerous editorials and food articles that were widely circulated with recipes that could be used for Thanksgiving Day dinner. These included many things that most likely would have not have been served at the original feast, but today they are part of our traditions.

This week, when you begin to prepare, or eat your turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and/or mashed potatoes. It is largely because of the influence of this once self-published author.

Here are some other fun facts about Thanksgiving.  facts

Have a gratitude-filled Thanksgiving.

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