Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day: Today’s picture is of some big, happy Tom Turkeys, who came to feed on the Hawthorne tree berries yesterday.   They dug around under the tree where the squirrels and little birds had knocked berries to the ground. One clever Tom found that if he jumped and spread his wings for a split second under the tree that he could nab some of the fruit. It was pretty funny to watch.

It’s amazing to think that the first people who ate turkey ate birds that looked like these. We ate wild turkey once, a long time ago. It was mostly dark meat and a bit tough, although I think that had more to do with the cooking rather than the bird.

Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanks giving, but President Lincoln made it official during the Civil War. Secretary of State William Seward wrote the proclamation, and the original was in his handwriting. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops. The Proclamation is dated October 3, 1863 but seems eerily apropos today. Here’s an excerpt:

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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

You can read the full Proclamation here:

Whether you’re eating turkey or “tofurky” and regardless of what you are thankful for, we hope you have many blessings today.  Happy Thanks Giving.

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