Friday, November 20, 2009

"This, the oldest of all American holidays..."

The following is from a newsletter I received from HEAV, but the links and information contained therein are wonderful educational resources, not just for homeschoolers, but for all of us who move toward commemorating "this, the oldest of all American holidays."

I loved reading again about the history of Thanksgiving. Schoolchildren around the country are told that the Thanksgiving holiday originated as a celebration where the Pilgrims thanked the Indians for their help during the harsh winter. This is a drastically incomplete picture of what truly transpired as both Native Americans and European Americans together thanked God for His goodness to them. May we all remember again the rich heritage of our nation's gratitude to Almighty God for His blessings and provision for us.

Following is the body of the text of their mailing, including the Editor's Note at the end:

David Barton of Wall Builders suggests a few resources to review the true history of Thanksgiving. This scholarly article, "Celebrating Thanksgiving in America,” includes primary sources about the four-century long highlights of the holiday.

Find a number of famous Thanksgiving Proclamations of historic significance listed on this page.

Read a notable Thanksgiving sermon entitled, “Blessed Is the Nation Whose God Is the Lord, and the People Whom He Hath Chosen for His Own Inheritance,” preached by the Reverand Thomas Baldwin of Boston in response to President George Washington's 1795 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Editor's Note: Unlike modern sermons (which are commonly published or taped weekly), due to high paper and printing costs, only the most popular sermons and preachers were published during this era. Once available as pamphlets, notices appeared in local newspapers announcing the sermon details. The prices were listed, sometimes noting sale prices were less by half “for those distributing them free in the prisons and gaols.” Sermon pamphlets were collected as private devotional reading and individuals who could afford it might have selections bound together into volumes. George Washington was among those who collected them.

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