Home > General Tomato News > IT’S NOVEMBER….IT’S THANKSGIVING!


Yup, the good ol’ Pilgrims Pride, Apple and Pumpkin Pie, Grandma’s House, Turkey aroma’s floating through the air…..Football, Remembrance, and all those things that bring back happy memories of days and events gone by that warm the cockles of our hearts. And it’s the season just before Christmas when we can really be thankful for our higher power. For me that’s God and Jesus….but I’m not allowed to mention God and Jesus so I won’t….although I’m having a tough time figuring out what Christmas is without them….but no matter, we’re going to be celebrating Thanksgiving first…..my personal favorite holiday. I’ll bet a lot of you Tomato aficionados aren’t up to snuff with the history of Thanksgiving….let’s take a trip down the halls of “History”…..starting with the first Thanksgiving…..

Yes Sir…there was 3 days of festivities….and guess what, there was NO TURKEY! The main featured meals would have been “Duck”….it was plentiful in the Bay area at the time. The other major meals would have been provided by the 5 deer the local Indians provided for the feast. The Indians were Wampanoag ….their leader was Massasoit. Actually Massasoit is a title….roughly translated it means “Leader”, his birth name was Ousamequin. There were other big shots there too…Governor William Bradford, Captain Miles Standish, William Brewster who was the Colonist Spiritual Leader along with other colonial luminaries and Indian leaders. Then it was a LONG time before Thanksgiving was celebrated again. You see the Pilgrims never meant for the feast to become a tradition or really even repeated, it was a one time deal.

George Washington Plants A Seed!
Historians tell us that on November 30, 1777 Good Ol’ George set aside December 18th, 1777 as a day of “Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise” for recent victories in the Revolutionary War. That became our 1st National recognition of a day of Thanks Giving. History becomes a might convoluted after this occasion……

What’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb” Have to do with Thanksgiving?
Well, I’ll tell you….the author of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” was none other than a nice young lady named Sara Hale. Sara read a book about Pilgrim life and a recounting of the 1st celebration with the Indians….this gave Sara an idea and a cause. She started writing letters to anyone she could think of that had any kind of influence extolling the virtues of having a national day of Thanksgiving set aside to celebrate our good fortune and history. Well Sara did this for 17 years to no real avail until one of her letters found it’s way to none other than Abraham Lincoln!

Honest Abe Declares A National Holiday!
Fresh off of victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, Lincoln on August 6th, 1863 declared the last Thursday in November would be “Thanksgiving Day” after reading Sara’a letter and taking her admonitions to heart. Thus Thanksgiving was brought to the National attention and established as a day to celebrate. Things lingered there for 76 years before history gave us another wrinkle.

Christmas and Franklin Roosevelt Had Their Own Calendar…..
Seems thing were going along fairly swimmingly until the “National Dry Goods Retail Association” got into the act….they wanted an extra week of Christmas shopping and plead their case to President Roosevelt. Well our buddy President Roosevelt thought about it and decided it couldn’t hurt to give folks an extra week to shop for the kiddies, so in 1939 he called the “Next to the last week in November” Thanksgiving. Believe it or not this created so much confusion that in 1941 he changed it to the fourth Thursday in November.

And there you have it! From Indians and Pilgrims to Roosevelt, the story of Thanksgiving……even without Tomatoes I think it was a pretty good journey. We’ll catch up with the elusive Tomato in subsequent installments………….

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Posted Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 by by admin, under General Tomato News.

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