In just two days, on Thursday, we will be blessed to celebrate our annual Thanksgiving Day. This is a special time when many of us will have the opportunity to be thankful as we gather together with family and friends.
Certainly, many of us also have much to be thankful for as we enjoy our great Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Let me again briefly review the long term history of our Founding Fathers and those who followed them offering thanks for our wonderful country. Thanksgiving Day was first recognized as an official federal holiday by the United States government when President George Washington proclaimed the first national Day of Thanksgiving in 1789.
For many years there was no specific national date set for the nation to celebrate a Thanksgiving Day. At that time, not all of our states celebrated a Thanksgiving Day.
The states that chose to have a Thanksgiving Day celebration picked their own specific date. Therefore, it did not always fall on a Thursday
Finally, in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a federal bill officially proclaiming our United States Thanksgiving Day holiday to always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
As you know, the most popular traditional food for the annual Thanksgiving dinner is turkey. According to the National Turkey Foundation, nearly 90% of Americans have turkey as their primary main course on this special day.
This healthy Thanksgiving Day meal often also includes stuffing, various vegetables, cranberry sauce and most commonly, pumpkin pie for desert. Further, there are many opportunities to help with volunteer service on Thanksgiving Day, and many communities hold food drives and host free dinners for those less fortunate.
At this time of Thanksgiving, and all year long, let us always remember and give thanks to all our present military personnel, all our military veterans, our local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel, our fire fighters, our first responders and emergency medical services personnel, and to all others who unselfishly serve us all and keep us safe. We all owe so much to these
dedicated individuals who do so very much to protect us and to save lives each and every day of the year. Thank you all so very much for all you do for all of us.
This is also a great time of year to offer thanks by making a donation to a local charity of your choice, or to volunteer your personal time and talents to serve others. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of the best-selling SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet book and his new Joke Book, entitled “Laughter Is Good Medicine.” Dr. Jim’s website is sosdietbook.com.