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Spirit of Thanksgiving Holiday in America

Updated on September 19, 2012

Introduction: Old Tradition & New In America

The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of President Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation.

The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale) to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.

It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November

Prior Memory: Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community.

At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season.. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest

Some Long Existing Thanksgiving Parades in Major Cities in America

(01) New York City : the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the country's largest and most recognized Thanksgiving parade. Now in its 82nd year, the parade attracts more than three million spectators and upwards of 44 million television viewers.

(02) Chicago, Illinois - The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago is best known

for its giant inflatable character balloons

(03) Parade in Philadelphia is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country.

(04) Detroit, Michigan: The parade is famous for its

ever expanding collection of giant papier-mâché heads. Known as the Big Heads,

they resemble walking bobbleheads in costumes.

(05) Houston, Texas - Houston's Thanksgiving Day Parade, also known as the H-E-B

Holiday Parade, is a 61-year holiday tradition that takes place in the city of

Houston. The parade attracts 400,000 spectators and is watched by nearly 2

million local television viewers throughout the state of Texas

Photo Album 01__Spirit of Thanksgiving - An ancient heritage shaped by Heritage and Culture USA

Click thumbnail to view full-size

A Native American Prayer - Before The Big Dinner With Family and Friends

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Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer

(adapted from Native American Heritage )

"We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.

We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.

We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.

We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.

Christmas Spiirit 2012 Coming Upon Us - It's Been 2 Millenium For All Christian Faithfuls For Connecting Past, Present and Future

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Christmas Spirit 2012 Coming Up - Thanksgiving

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Wishing you and yours a most inspiring Thanksgiving holiday!

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 5 years ago

      Beautiful. The images are terrific.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks, great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!