Thanksgiving: Reflections and Interesting Facts

Today millions of Americans will sit down and celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday with a long history and many traditions.

At this time of year many seem more reflective and take the opportunity to vocalize what they are thankful for. I recently read somewhere the importance of “counting your blessings.” Sometimes we forget to do that because so much better at counting what is not going well in our lives or businesses. The bad milk prices, a poor harvest of a particular crop, flooding, fires, the list goes on. It’s easy to get tunnel vision about the hard stuff and forget about the positives that so many of us experience on a daily basis: good health, a country that is free because of brave soldiers, family, friends and the privilege to be in an industry filled with great people.

As I look through all the pictures that we’ve taken at various events like Madison and the Royal, I’m struck by two things. First, the passion and emotion that has been captured in the photos! The excitement and thrill of victory. And second, the camaraderie in this business! The hugs and laughs sitting on the show box or visiting at ringside. We are truly blessed to be able to share great moments with each other and to lean on each other when things are tough. For that, I am thankful.

Here’s some facts you might not have known about Thanksgiving!

History

– the first Thanksgiving, a celebration of a good harvest, was in 1621. English Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation shared a meal with their Native American neighbors

– September 28, 1789 the first Federal Congress passed a resolution asking the President to recommend a day of Thanksgiving. President George Washington made it happen on November 26 of the same year

– in 1863 Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation, during the Civil War, that Thanksgiving Day would be the celebrated the last Thursday of November

– 1939 the date got moved to the second last Thursday by President Franklin Roosevelt. The thought was that if the last Thursday fell on the last day of the month it would shorten the Christmas shopping season

– not everyone agreed with the change of date! So, 32 states celebrated on the second last Thursday, and the rest celebrated on the last Thursday until 1941, when the date got moved back to the last Thursday and became official. Only rarely does it fall on the second last Thursday now, based on the calendar

– although turkey is often the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, that wasn’t always the case. The Native Americans killed 5 deer at the first Thanksgiving as a gift for the Colonists, so its highly probably that venison was the dish of choice back then

Turkey Pardoning
– started in 1947 when the National Turkey Federation started presenting US Presidents with one live and two dress turkeys

– JFK was the first President to reportedly “spare” the turkey, and Ronald Regan was the first to grant his turkey an official presidential pardon

– turkey pardoning because an official tradition in 1989

Parades
– Thanksgiving Day parades are a tradition that is celebrated in many cities!

– the oldest Parade has been held in Philadelphia since 1920

– the largest parade is held in Detroit and precedes the annual Detroit Lions NFL football game. The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving Day every year, except between 1939 and 1944. Watching NFL football is also a tradition embraced by many on Thanksgiving Day

– the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been running since 1924. It used to be 3X longer than it is now, but the route was cut down to 2.5 miles for television purposes

Post-Thanksgiving Day
– the day after Thanksgiving has become known as ‘Black Friday’, which kicks off the Christmas shopping season

– Native American Heritage Day is also a day after Thanksgiving and pays tribute to Native Americans for their contributions to the US

– ‘Small Business Saturday’ is a movement that encourages shopping at local establishments

– ‘Cyber Monday’ originally began in the early days of the internet when consumers returning to work took advantage of their employers’ broadband internet to do some online shopping

From all of us at Cowsmo, Happy Thanksgiving!