Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Thursday, November 24th. Good morning pilgrims. The holidays today are:

Thanksgiving Day

Tucked snugly between the two mega-holidays of Halloween and Christmas, is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving gets less attention, but it is still an important holiday to many. It is a time to gather family and friends together and give thanks for the blessings you received during the year.
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and public holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.
The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Other countries observe similar days of “thanksgiving” on different dates throughout the year; for instance, Canada celebrates their “Thanksgiving” on the second Monday in October. This article in Wikipedia will give you more information about Thanksgiving celebrations in other countries.
As mentioned above, since 1863, Thanksgiving here in America has been celebrated on the final Thursday in November. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt broke with tradition and declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. That year, November had five Thursdays (instead of the more-common four), and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish the holiday on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr., founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy’s), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving to a week earlier to expand the shopping season, and within two years the change passed through Congress into law.
Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to November 30 as the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 as the “Democratic Thanksgiving” or “Franksgiving”. Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt’s change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt’s recommendation, twenty-two did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays. In 1940 and 1941, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt declared the third one as Thanksgiving. As in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date. On October 6, 1941, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942. However, in December of that year, the Senate passed an amendment to the resolution that split the difference by requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, which was sometimes the last Thursday and sometimes (less frequently) the next to last. The amendment also passed the House, and on December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law and fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November. However, for several years some states continued to observe the last-Thursday date in years with five November Thursdays (the next such year being 1944), with Texas doing so as late as 1956.
Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys, in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. President John F. Kennedy was the first president reported to spare the turkey given to him (he was dissatisfied with the turkey’s size and asked to “let this one grow”), and Ronald Reagan was the first to grant the turkey a presidential pardon, which he jokingly presented to his 1987 turkey (a turkey that would indeed be spared and sent to a petting zoo) in order to deflect questions regarding the Iran–Contra affair. George H. W. Bush, who served as vice president under Reagan, made the turkey pardon a permanent annual tradition upon assuming the presidency in 1989, a tradition that has been carried on by every president each year since. The pardoned turkeys are typically sent to a farm to be pampered for the remainder of their lives (a time scale typically on the order of months, since most domestic turkeys have been bred to grow so much that they die within two years of birth). There are legends that say that the “pardoning” tradition dates to the Harry Truman administration or even to an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son’s pet turkey; both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches, but neither has any evidence in the Presidential record. In more recent years, two turkeys have been pardoned, in case the original turkey becomes unavailable for presidential pardoning.

D.B. Cooper Day

On this date in 1971,  an inconspicuous middle-aged man wearing a plain suit and dark glasses boarded Flight 305, a three-engine Boeing 727 commercial jet aircraft belonging to Northwest Airlines, home-based in Minnesota. He got on board in Portland, Oregon, northbound for the Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Seattle, Washington. The name on the manifest was Dan Cooper, but he later became known as D.B. Cooper. After the plane took off, he presented a stewardess a note saying he had a bomb in his briefcase and demanded $200,000 in $20.00 bills, and four parachutes; two primary and two auxiliaries. He also demanded that after his demands were met that he then be flown to Mexico. He said that if his demands weren’t met by the time they landed in Seattle, he would blow up the airplane. To make a long story short, his demands were met, the plane took off, and somewhere between Seattle and Reno, NV, a scheduled refueling stop, he parachuted out of the plane with the money; never to be heard from again.
It doesn’t seem like it has been 45 years since D.B.’s infamous jump. Believe it or not, the FBI still hasn’t closed the case. His escapade caused a major shift in airline travel comfort, and actually spawned the word: Skyjacking.
I don’t know about you, but I hope he made it.

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

Everyone has a unique talent or skill at which they truly excel. Today is the day to embrace those quirky abilities and show them off to everyone else. Your unique and special talent could involve writing, art, sports, or math. Or maybe you are double jointed, can talk in a cartoon voice, or can do a one-handed pull-up like no other. No matter what your special skills are, today is the day to flaunt them for all your friends and family.
Do you have a special talent? The closest thing I have to a special talent, if you want to call it that, is an uncanny ability to solve “Word Jumble” puzzles (like those found in the newspaper every day).
To celebrate this holiday, gather your friends and family together to have a showdown to see who has the best special talent.

Use Even If Seal Is Broken Day

This holiday is meant to be celebrated more in a lighthearted way: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”; “screw “the man”; don’t let anything stand in your way.
As a matter of fact, the literal interpretation of this holiday could be hazardous to your health. The seals that have been placed on most consumables these days is called a Tamper Indicating or Tamper Evident seal. Companies place these seals on their bottles or  packaging to ensure that the food items inside the sealed package are free of any pathogens, bacteria, or harmful drugs and are safe for consumption; once that seal has been tampered with or broken, it is no longer safe to eat and should be returned or thrown away. The same holds true for medicines and drugs.
Here are a few guidelines which will help you determine if an item has been tampered with:

*  For drink bottles with plastic caps, the safety ring should still be attached to the cap, and when you twist it, there should be an obvious breaking or separation from the ring and the cap.
*  For glass drink bottles with metal lids, the lid should not click when pressed, and the middle of the cap should not be raised.
*  For cans, there should be no dents or holes, and the can should not give when squeezed.
*  For items with plastic bands around lids, do not use if the band has been slit or removed.
*  For items with plastic, removable lids, the paper, plastic, or aluminum seal underneath should still be glued to the container.
*  For items in bags inside of open boxes, the bag should not lose air when squeezed.

National Sardines Day

Sardines are used as a food source around the world and eaten in many different ways by different culinary cultures. In places where sardines are plentiful in the wild, like in the Mediterranean and the waters off Japan, sardines are enjoyed as a fresh fish, and are commonly caught and immediately grilled on an open fire. Fresh sardines are also often pickled or smoked.
Here in the United States, where our waters don’t usually teem with fleets of sardines, we get them canned and eat them right out of the tin. Sardines are packed in an airtight container with water, oil, tomato sauce, or even mustard. They have been cleaned and cooked and are packed in an airtight container and ready for you to eat.
Sardines are several types of small, oily fish, related to herrings. Actually a common type of fish consumed by millions of people, sardines are rich in nutrients.  The term sardine was first used in English during the beginning of the 15th century, possibly coming from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia where there was an abundance of sardines. Sardines are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Sardine oil is used in the manufacturing of paint, varnish, and linoleum.

National Day of Mourning

Turkey-free Thanksgiving – Fourth Thursday in November.

On this date in

  • 1859 – Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, published “On the Origin of Species.” It was the paper in which he explained his theory of evolution through the process of natural selection.
  • 1863 – During the Civil War, the battle for Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee.
  • 1871 – The National Rifle Association was incorporated in the U.S.
  • 1874 – Joseph F. Glidden was granted a patent for a barbed fencing material.
  • 1903 – Clyde J. Coleman received the patent for an electric self-starter for an automobile.
  • 1940 – Nazis closed off the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next three years the population dropped from 350,000 to 70,000 due to starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps.
  • 1944 – During World War II, the first raid against the Japanese capital of Tokyo was made by land-based U.S. bombers.
  • 1963 – Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald live on national television.
  • 1969 – Apollo 12 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean bringing an end to the second manned mission to the moon.
  • 1983 – The Palestine Liberation Organization released six Israeli prisoners in exchange for the release of 4,500 Palestinians and Lebanese held by the Israelis.
  • 1987 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap short and medium-range missiles. It was the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.
  • 1989 – Czechoslovakia’s hard-line party leadership resigned after more than a week of protests against its policies.
  • 1992 – In China, a domestic jetliner crashed, killing 141 people.
  • 1993 – Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill.
  • 1993 – Robert Thompson and Jon Venables (both 11 years old) were convicted of murdering 2-year-old James Bulger of Liverpool, England. They were both sentenced to “indefinite detention.”
  • 1995 – In Ireland, the voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce.
  • 1996 – Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR event to be held in Japan.
  • 1996 – Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions) set an NFL record when he recorded his eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

Noteworthy Birthdays


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