November 25
Happy Thanksgiving!

In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is an annual day of thanks for the blessings of the past year. It is observed on the fourth Thursday in November in each of the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is a historical, national and religious holiday with origins that date back with the Pilgrims. After the survival of their first colony through a bitter winter and the subsequent gathering of the harvest in the autumn of 1621, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford issued a thanksgiving proclamation. During the three-day October thanksgiving the Pilgrims feasted on wild turkey and venison with their Native American guests.

Days of Thanksgiving were celebrated in America sporadically until, on November 26, 1789, President Washington issued a general proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the government under the Constitution. He made it clear that the day should be one of prayer and giving thanks to God, to be celebrated by all religious denominations.

Credit for establishing this day as a national holiday is usually given to Sarah J. Hale, editor and founder of the Ladies' Magazine in Boston. Her editorials in the magazine and letters to President Lincoln urging the formal establishment of a national holiday of Thanksgiving resulted in Lincoln's proclamation in 1863, which designated the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. Later presidents followed this example, with the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1939 proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a week earlier--on the fourth, not the last, Thursday of November--in effort to encourage more holiday shopping. In 1941 Congress adopted a joint resolution, permanently setting the date of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.

2348 BC Biblical scholars have long asserted this to be the day of the Great Deluge, or Flood.
1863 Union ends the siege of Chattanooga with the Battle of Missionary Ridge.
1876 Colonel Ronald MacKenzie destroys Cheyenne Chief Dull Knife's village, in the Bighorn Mountains near the Red Fork of the Powder River, during the so-called Great Sioux War.
1901 Japanese Prince Ito arrives in Russia to seek concessions in Korea.
1914 German Field Marshal Fredrich von Hindenburg calls off the Lodz offensive 40 miles from Warsaw, Poland. The Russians lose 90,000 to the Germans' 35,000 in two weeks of fighting.
1918 Chile and Peru sever relations.
1921 Hirohito becomes regent of Japan.
1923 Transatlantic broadcasting from England to America commences for the first time.
1930 An earthquake in Shizouka, Japan kills 187 people.
1939 Germany reports four British ships sunk in the North Sea, but London denies the claim.
1946 The U.S. Supreme Court grants the Oregon Indians land payment rights from the U.S. government.
1947 The Big Four meet to discuss the German and European economy.
1951 A truce line between U.N. troops and North Korea is mapped out at the peace talks in Panmunjom, Korea.
1955 The Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation in interstate travel.
1963 The body of assassinated President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
1964 Eleven nations give a total of $3 billion to rescue the value of the British currency.
1986 As President Ronald Reagan announces the Justice Department's findings concerning the Iran-Contra affair; secretary Fawn Hall smuggles important documents out of Lt. Col. Oliver North's office.

Born on November 25
1844 Carl Benz, pioneer of early motor cars.
1896 Virgil Thompson, American composer (Four Saints in Three Acts, The Mother of Us All).
1910 Alwin Nikolais, choreographer.
1913 Lewis Thomas, physician and author (The Lives of a Cell).
1914 Joe DiMaggio, Hall of Fame baseball star who led the New York Yankees to ten World Series.
1939 Shelagh Delaney, playwright (A Taste of Honey).

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