Weather forecasters are warning that if the high winds accompanying a major storm traveling across the country to the East Coast do not dwindle, there is a strong possibility that the giant balloons carried aloft over the course of the parade route may have to be grounded, in the interests of assuring safety for parade spectators. There is a story on the internet explaining all this at http://news.yahoo.com/wind-could-ground-macys-parade-balloons-nyc-071128465.html
This would be very disappointing, especially for all the children who look forward to seeing their favorite characters like Snoopy and Spongebob Squarepants flying through the streets of Manhattan. (Again, I ask, as a man of the 1700s, who are these characters?)
History of Thanksgiving
For me, as an unexpected time traveler who’s suddenly found himself in the year 2013, this brings to mind some of the history behind this particular holiday. For example:
- Thanksgiving did not become an official national holiday until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise.
- Various types of thanksgivings, however, had been around since the days of the Pilgrims. In 1621, the First Thanksgiving in the New World was celebrated at the Plymouth Plantation, attended by both settlers and native Americans.
- The Massachusetts Bay Colony celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in 1630, and a number of times since then up until 1680, when it became an annual festival in that colony.
Ben’s own Thanksgiving days
- And, in my own lifetime, during the days of the Revolutionary War, the first national proclamation of Thanksgiving was issued by the Continental Congress in 1777 from its temporary location in York, Pennsylvania.
- In 1789, the brand-new country of the United States of America had its first official Thanksgiving Day designated by the new federal government, thanks to President George Washington.
- And, as I understand it, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City was established for the first time in 1924. Together with the parade in Detroit, the Macy’s parade is only the second-oldest such parade in the country.
Philadelphia claims the first parade!
The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade, actually, I’m proud to say, originated in my home town of Philadelphia, began in 1920 as the Gimbel’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and now known as the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Parade.
So there you have it – a quick history lesson on Thanksgiving from someone who really has “been there!”
Your humble servant,