The winter was brutal in New England, especially that first winter of 1620. The Pilgrims had landed in Plymouth (which they named Plimouth) in December 1620. They nearly starved and they had no shelter. A year later, after a plentiful harvest, the Pilgrims gathered with the Native Americans that had shown them how to harvest the bounty of this new land. Thanks was given for them having survived that first year and for the harvest that would allow the Pilgrims to thrive in this new country.
We still gather with family and friends to give thanks that we are still together, or to remember loved ones. We all have many things to be thankful for, some large, some small and personal.
But do you know how this unique American holiday became a national holiday? Most of the credit for the establishment of an annual Thanksgiving holiday may be given to an amazing woman, Sarah Josepha Hale. Editor of Ladies Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book, she began to campaign for such a day in 1827 by printing articles in the magazines. She also published stories and recipes, and wrote scores of letters to governors, senators, and presidents. After 36 years of effort, she won her battle. On October 3, 1863, buoyed by the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln proclaimed that November 26, would be a national Thanksgiving Day, to be observed every year on the fourth Thursday of November.
Sarah took action to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She never gave up. You can learn more about Sarah Josepha on the following site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Josepha_Hale.
That’s what we’re doing with our girls – teaching them and giving them opportunities to Take Action in their communities – to make a world a better place.
Warmest Thanksgiving greetings to all of you and safe travels.