Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I’d like to put legislative issues aside this week and simply wish you a happy Thanksgiving. We all lead busy lives, but this holiday provides us an opportunity to pause, reflect and appreciate what we have in life. As I reflect this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my family, my health and the opportunity to represent you and our communities in the Legislature. I’m truly blessed and honored.
The origins of Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1621 and the holiday has been celebrated differently over the years. George Washington declared a day of thanksgiving in 1789 to mark the end of the Revolutionary War. In 1817, New York was the first state to adopt Thanksgiving as an official holiday. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday in November to be a day of “thanksgiving and praise.”
In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving would be on the third Thursday in November. Believe it or not, this move was controversial with many governors. That year, 23 states celebrated Thanksgiving on November 23, and 23 states celebrated it on November 30. The controversy and confusion continued. Finally, in December 1941, Congress passed a law declaring Thanksgiving would occur on the fourth Thursday of November. The matter was finally settled. I know what you may be thinking – even holidays have been politicized!
There is no question that Thanksgiving is uniquely American. I hope you have a safe, restful and reflective holiday with your family.
In your service,