Thanksgiving! - Thursday, November 26, 2015

Today is a special day for Americans of all races, creeds, religions and height.  One of the wonderful things about being an American is knowing how amazingly diverse our culture is, and yet we all have a number of things in common.  We all have the right to enjoy whatever music we want to listen to - even if it's music that everyone around you hates (we just recommend that you listen to it with headsets on).  Every American has the choice of what television to watch - even if other people don't think it's very good.  (The Sharknado films will be considered classics in a few years, just you wait!)  And everyone has the right to celebrate Thanksgiving.  

For full disclosure, we acknowledge that the establishment of the federal holiday of Thanksgiving has a bit of notoriety associated with it, such that some Americans refused to recognize it for many years.  But that was their right!  Abraham Lincoln signed the law making Thanksgiving the final Thursday of November in 1863, in the middle of the Civil War.  His intention, we can presume, was to remind Americans that there was a lot for which they could be thankful, despite the bloody conflict going on around them.  Southerners who had seceded from the nation in the effort to preserve a lifestyle dominated by the enslavement of human beings.  When the war ended with their defeat and the emancipation of the slaves, some chose to ignore the day.  Fortunately, those resentments are now a thing of the past, and we can celebrate as a country.  The primary goals of modern Thanksgiving include:  spending time with loved ones, eating too much, and making sure you can sneak in at least one nap before preparing to go shopping the next day, which is, of course, Black Friday!
QUESTION:  In what year was the date of Thanksgiving officially changed from being the "last" Thursday in November to being the "fourth" Thursday in Thanksgiving?
A)  1872
B)  1901
C)  1941
D)  1999

THANKSGIVING - REALLY!  On this day in 1789, George Washington, the first President of the United States under the Constitution (don't even get us started on the US Presidents under the Articles of Confederation!) celebrated today as a "national Thanksgiving Day."  Since we are unaware of any papers being shuffled, we cannot consider this an actual federal holiday.  But we'll take it.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BILL W.  If you have never heard of Bill W., it means you either do not have a drinking problem or definitely have a drinking problem.  Born today in 1895, William Griffith Wilson was on the road to self-destruction because of an addiction to alcohol until his sobriety in 1934.  Realizing he could not maintain it alone, he co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob Smith, an organization that not only saved his life (he passed away in 1971 from pneumonia) but those of perhaps millions of other men and women around the world.  

QUOTE:  Maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be. - Bill W.  

ANSWER:  C)  1941 - We can thank Franklin Roosevelt for this decision.  And believe us, he did not do it to ensure more shopping time for Christmas.  Okay, don't believe us on that one.  It was definitely one of the motivating factors.

Here's a pretty cool website that exposes some of the myths of Thanksgiving: