Thursday, November 27, 2008

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

The Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, and celebrated their first harvest in 1621 with a feast. This celebration was not repeated, so it is not officially the first traditional Thanksgiving. It made a good story in elementary school, don't you think?

Actually, the First Thanksgiving Day in July of 1630, celebrating the arrival of Governor John Winthrop from England. This began the tradition in the colony which is still thriving today.

Before we were officially a country, George Washington's troops celebrated Thanksgiving on their way to Valley Forge. It was obviously important to him. After he was inaugurated as president of the new country, he declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday in his "Presidential Proclamation Number One." It didn't stick as a national holiday, however, because the colonies couldn't agree. Aw, the beginning of politics in the United States.

Sarah Josepha Hale picked up the crusade for the holiday. President Abraham Lincoln agreed and proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. He started a trend and every president since then issued a proclamation.

Thanksgiving is officially a national holiday, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Well, there was that time FDR decided to change it to the third Thursday to give people more time to shop for Christmas, but he changed it back. Check the story of the Thanksgiving time line.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lions & Tigers & Bears, or Maybe Not

Maybe it was Lion and then another Lion and then Elephant, and I think there was a camel and maybe a rhinoceros, and eventually more.

On this date in 1716, the first "real live lion" was exhibited in Boston. Those were the days before zoos, when exotic animals were exhibited in a menagerie. That practice was started in France where a menagerie was defined as an "establishment of luxury and curiosity."

It was rare for exotic animals to be exhibited in those days. Now it is rare for a city in America not to have lions on exhibit.

vicki'sblog liononexhibit

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Remember Him

I often remember him this time of year. Today is the 45th anniversary of that day in Dallas when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

I have been thinking about him quite a bit this year. It was hard not to remember the first presidential campaign that got my attention when watching the excitement created by Barack Obama's run and election. It was exciting then, too, in 1959, when Kennedy offered his good looks, his inspiring speaking style, his enchanted view of w
hat could be, and just his charisma.

Their campaigns are compared. Young children are again on the way to the White House.

It makes me remember.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children Around the Globe

Today is Universal Children's Day.

In December 1954, when Dag Hamma
rskld was Secretary General, the United Nations passed a resolution that recommended all countries establish and observe a Universal Children's Day. This day promotes "worldwide fraternity and understanding between children."

Hammarsrskld was the first person I remember from the UN. I'm not sure what it was that attached me to him. Perhaps it was that he worked for peace at a time I was beginning to understand what that meant. Perhaps because he helped pilots who were captured in the Korean War, and my daddy was a pilot in the Korean War. Anyway, I remember when I was 12 his aircraft was lost and then found and a controversy followed. I was proud when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Around the world, countries are observing this day to promote the welfare of children. Today is Universal Children's Day.

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