Most everyone is bustling around now making plans and preparations for some kind of Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. We are all familiar with the story of what Americans generally call the 'First Thanksgiving', celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.
A tale was supposedly told by an attendee who said this feast lasted three days and included 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims. Of course, there is no absolute documentation of this feast, but we can certainly believe that those early settlers were very thankful to reach their destination and felt excited about beginning a new life.
History tells us that Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally since 1789, following a proclamation by George Washington after a request was made by Congress. Later, when Thomas Jefferson was President, he chose not to observe the holiday, and the celebration was sporadic for a number of years.
Interestingly, Thanksgiving only became a federal holiday in 1863 during the presidency of Illinois-born Abraham Lincoln. Even in the midst of the American Civil War, President Lincoln huimbly proclaimed it to be a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".
It crossed my mind that perhaps we should all take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln. Even when
surrounded by strife and trouble, we should remember the good and positive things in our lives.
Personally, one of the blessings on my list has been the opportunity to live in a small community like Lexington where residents generally are kind to their neighbors and ready to help each other.
Let's each take a moment this Thanksgiving Day to appreciate all the blessings in our lives and make every effort to improve the lives of others whenever we can!