On October 3, 1789, President George Washington named Thursday, November 26, 1789 an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks.” In the midst of the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in which he declared the fourth Thursday of every November to be a day of Thanksgiving.
“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.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a day devoted to eating, watching football, eating, shopping, and if there’s still room – eating some more. Although traditional meals and activities like football may be the first things people remember about this holiday, Thanksgiving and all its precursors were based on the principle of gratitude. Whether it was being grateful for a harvest or for the end of a war, or for the relief of a city under siege or for freedom, the underlying purpose was an expression of thankfulness.
As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, let us express gratitude for the family and friends we hold most dear. Let us take a step back from the festivities and food, and reflect upon our freedoms and the sacrifices made to secure that freedom. Let us be grateful for the bounties of life that we enjoy and endeavor to impart some of our substance to those less fortunate. Simply put – let us all be thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving from Morris Hall, PLLC.