Tag Archives | Thanksgiving

The Five Worst Thanksgivings in History

PilgrimIf you’re dreading your family Thanksgiving, it could be worse! John Marr identifies the five worst Thanksgivings in history, which included the day the Ku Klux Klan was founded, and Reno’s “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” in 1980. (“Priscilla Ford had a long history of psychiatric problems and bizarre behavior…”)

Also included? The day 22 people were killed in 1900 at the Big Game between football rivals Stanford and Berkeley, and a story which concludes “The gunmen immediately started blasting away with shotguns and assault rifles…”

Usually on Thanksgiving, “Good old all-American chaos is down,” writes Marr sardonically. “But not entirely out.”

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Peaceful Countries Do Not Celebrate Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingBrownscombe

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914).

Thanksgiving commemorates the successful harvest and a time the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks, sharing a feast with their Native American neighbors, who had made possible their survival in the New England wilderness.

“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” written by Henry “Dean” Alford, the gifted Christian leader of the 19th century and distinguished theologian and scholar, is considered to be one of the finest harvest and Thanksgiving hymns in all of the hymnals of Christian singing.

Writers and textbook publishers of American history have generally omitted or, if mentioned at all, glossed over historic accounts of genocide and inhumane treatment of American Indian populations.

The mythology of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights is a national story of great significance to the way the United States views itself.

The United States of America was founded on the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.… Read the rest

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The Worst Thanksgiving Days in History

Klan In GainesvilleAuthor John Marr takes a dark look at a holiday tradition of “good old all-American chaos” on 10 Zen Monkeys:

Founding of the Ku Klux Klan, Atlanta, 1915: At 35, failed preacher William Simmons had found his true calling as a fraternal lodge leader. In addition to commanding five regiments of the Woodmen, he was a heavy in several Masonic orders and a Knight Templar.

But his dream was to have his own personal fraternal organization. And he wanted more than funny hats and secret handshakes — he wanted to revive the Ku Klux Klan. His dream came to fruition Thanksgiving Eve when 40 handpicked men gathered to re-launch the Klan. A group of 15 stalwarts recessed to the top of nearby Stone Mountain for an early morning cross-burning. Simmons tied his first recruitment drive in with D.W. Griffith’s famous film The Birth of a Nation, which opened in Atlanta the following week.

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Tea Party Believes Thanksgiving Pilgrims Were Socialists

'The First Thanksgiving' by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

'The First Thanksgiving' by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

This ought to get conversation at your dinner table fired up! Kate Zernike fuels that fire in the New York Times:

Ah, Thanksgiving. A celebration regardless of creed; a time for all Americans to come together after a divisive election year.

But why take a holiday from argument? In these fractious times, even the meaning of Thanksgiving is subject to political debate.

Forget what you learned about the first Thanksgiving being a celebration of a bountiful harvest, or an expression of gratitude to the Indians who helped the Pilgrims through those harsh first months in an unfamiliar land. In the Tea Party view of the holiday, the first settlers were actually early socialists. They realized the error of their collectivist ways and embraced capitalism, producing a bumper year, upon which they decided that it was only right to celebrate the glory of the free market and private property.

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PETA’s Banned Thanksgiving Day Commercial

[disinfo ed.'s note - Diggin' in the crates, this story is a couple of years old, but it's evergreen on Thanksgiving Day!]
PETA purchased ad spot airtime on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, however the network rejected PETA's ad because the "commercial does not meet NBC Universal standards." I guess they found PETA's take on Thanksgiving a little disturbing.
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Mall Fever: Will Christmas Shopping Revive The Economy This Year As It Hasn’t In Years Past?

Funny how, back in 1929, we had a black Thursday and then a Black Friday as the market crashed, plunging the country into a depression. Now we have every retailer in every mall in America on their knees praying for a prosperous black Friday the day after Thanksgiving.

The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Photo: Wdwic Pictures (CC)

The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Photo: Wdwic Pictures (CC)

If you read this argument before, it’s because I have been making it since 2007, year in and year out.  That’s on account of the reality that our economy is driven more by consumption than production, and most consuming takes place during the holidays.

So once again we are being asked to join a global ritual even if we are broke.

Get in gear people, and get your wallets back to the mall: do your duty for Santa and Wall Street. It will be difficult for the economic recovery to make much headway without a pick-up in consumer spending as it accounts for two-thirds of the economy.… Read the rest

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