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Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States. Although the dates have varied in years past, it is currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November as a result of a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 26, 1941. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers in Charles  City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group's charter from the London Company, which specifically required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned ... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest.

As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God".

Our reasons for “Thanksgiving” today are greater than could have ever been imagined by our Founding Fathers. Despite the fact that our great nation is not a utopia where everyone has everything they want, we do live in a “land of plenty” and the opportunities are ours if we simply put forth the effort to take advantage of them. We are blessed beyond measure. The poorest of Americans are “rich” in comparison to a significant portion of rest of our planet, so we have every reason to be thankful.

On this day, spend a little time away from the table of bounty and the football games to truly reflect on your reasons to be thankful. If you have shoes on your feet, a roof over your head, food on your table, and someone to love or be loved by, you are truly blessed. And when things aren’t quite perfect, remember the words of the Apostle Paul from Philippians 4: 11b which read: “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”


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