Most people know that President Abraham Lincoln is responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. But what most people don’t know is how long the process actually took.
It all began with a woman named Sarah Hale. Back in the mid 1800s, the holiday was recognized individually by each existing state. Some states celebrated in October, others in January. Sarah Hale wanted the holiday to be celebrated as a nation on the same day.
It took her 17 years, and letter to five Presidents (Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln). It was the letter to President Lincoln that persuaded him to establish the national holiday in 1863. Since President Lincoln, each president has advocated the national holiday.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks. It is also a time where we easily lose focus on what really matters most. To emphasize my point, I found this gem this morning:
Humorous, yet true. Take some time every day to reflect and give thanks to the Source of all that you have. God has blessed all of us with more than we realize.
I’m thankful for:
A loving wife
A great family
A loving Heavenly Father
A nice apartment
A job that helps pay the bills
My friends who set great examples for me
Books to teach me new things
Movies to take me to places beyond my imagination
A working car
“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God . . . I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience . . . fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.” – President Abraham Lincoln
What are you thankful for this year?