The History and Importance of Thanksgiving


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Happy Thanksgiving from the Paw Print staff!

In school, students are taught that the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and the American Indians. Although this is true, it was more of a gathering and did not have a significant influence on the holiday celebrated today. In 1777, all 13 colonies held casual Thanksgiving dinners to celebrate their freedom from Great Britain, but this was never repeated. President George Washington tried to proclaim a day of Thanksgiving but faced opposition due to tension between the new states. In response to this opposition, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale made countless efforts to gain recognition for a national holiday, including organizing a 40-year letter-writing campaign to presidents and printing her opinions in the magazine. She finally succeeded in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving.

As a society, we learn that being appreciative is something that should occur every day, but Thanksgiving reminds the community of the importance of demonstrating gratefulness. During this Thanksgiving season, remember to recognize your family members, friends, those who work in customer service, and teachers for impacting your life. Take advantage of the day to reflect on all that is good, so your appreciation can be felt by the people who deserve it.

Sources: History, Plimoth Plantation, Encyclopedia Britannica