Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Yesterday's post about Thanksgiving encouraged some debate about when it all started. Tom and Phil both weighed in with historical perspectives of the Great Southwest celebrating Thanksgiving long before the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England.  Tom noted a Feast of Thanksgiving in New Mexico in 1598 following an arduous exploratory journey north from Mexico.  And Phil reminded us all that Santa Fe was an established town in New Mexico by the time the Pilgrims landed.

But wait!

A couple of Florida scholars say the first Thanksgiving actually was celebrated by Spaniards in what is now St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. (Presumably in Spanish, one of the official languages of Florida these days.)

So the debate goes on and on.  But it first became an official government mandated holiday way back in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation (y'all remember legislation, don't you?) naming the fourth Thursday of November every year as the day we celebrate, eat ridiculously huge meals and, if we remember, give thanks.

And, so says Wikipedia and who would argue with them, modern day Thanksgiving goes back to those Calvinists in New England. Just never mind the Spaniards and Mexicans and Indians who went before.  

Kind of like how we tend to forget or ignore our history even today.


Steve said...

A world of information, this blog is.

Phil Perisich said...

And what a mistake it was.

Should Fish More said...

When the Vikings landed in Ireland in 847AD the O'Mulligan's welcomed them with their special home brew. After they had passed out, the clan cut their hair off, took their leggings, and made their boats into charcoal to filter the brew. We've celebrated that since then, it was the third Thursday of the month.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon Anck said...

So many opinions on how the whole thing started and in my mind is the picture that was in my 1st grade primer of all the pilgrims and Indians seated at a table together enjoying turkey and the trimmings. I wish I could ask my grandparents what they did before 1941!
I saw your note on my travel site, 1968 Democratic Convention...what a turbulent time that was!

betty said...

However it started, I'm glad for a day to eat turkey :)


Stephen Hayes said...

The Indians would have been better served at that first (Calvinist) Thanksgiving if they'd eaten the pilgrims.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Sorry, I try not to interfere but personal insults will not be allowed.

Tom Cochrun said...

Regardless of the accent you use, Happy Thanksgiving!