Kettering closed for Thanksgiving

Nov 22, 2006

Kettering University will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Campus will re-open for business on Monday, Nov. 27.

History of Thanksgiving

The modern Thanksgiving celebration in the United States originated with Lammas, a British celebration of an abundant wheat crop. On this day, farmers attended the Loaf Mass and brought loaves of bread as a token of thanks.

The first recorded observance of Thanksgiving in America was a religious occasion that did not include the feast now associated with the holiday. On December 4, 1619, a small group of English settlers arrived at Berkley Plantation on the James River in Virginia. In accordance with their charter, the group observed this day by giving thanks.

Two years later, the residents of Plymouth rejoiced in an abundant crop and Governor William Bradford proclaimed a three day harvest festival. The colonists and about 90 Indians enjoyed an enormous feast which included ducks, geese, turkey, fish, corn bread and vegetables. It is this particular feast that is usually referred to as the first Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving celebrations were observed irregularly in the years after 1621. However, by 1789, the Thanksgiving custom had spread throughout the colonies and, in that year, George Washington proclaimed November 26 as a "day of public thanksgiving and prayer." Washington's proclamation still did not lead to a regular national observance although many states did celebrate Thanksgiving on an annual basis.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation inviting Americans to "observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving." Such proclamations were repeated by the President of the United States for the next 75 years. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday in November.

Written by Dawn Hibbard
(810) 762-9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu