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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley


Hello everyone, hope your Holiday season is going well. First Halloween now its Thanksgiving and before too long it will be Christmas. There are still some warm days to put our knees in the breeze, but for those few who still ride in the cold, get those leather jackets, chaps, gloves and full-face helmets out and let’s roll.

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2022 occurs on Thursday, November 24. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the "New World." After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from a member of the Abenaki tribe who greeted them in English.

Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird, whether roasted, baked or deep-fried on Thanksgiving. Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route. Some Native Americans and many others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays, days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

Useless Facts:

1. Ninety Wampanoag Native Americans and 50 Plymouth colonialists (Pilgrims) celebrated the first-ever autumn harvest celebration in 1621. While this celebration lasted three days, only five women were present. 2. According to the US National Archives, the first federal congress passed a resolution in 1789 requesting the then US president, George Washington, to name a national Thanksgiving Day. The president then proclaimed 26th November as the “Day of Public Thanksgiving” for that year. 3. Although subsequent presidents also proclaimed national thanksgiving days, the holidays fell on different days and months. However, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be held on every last Thursday of November each year and that it would be a national holiday. 4. Since some Novembers had 5 Thursdays, the congress and senate made a new resolution in 1941 aimed at removing the confusion surrounding Thanksgiving. The then US President, Roosevelt, signed it, proclaiming the fourth Thursday of every November as the national Thanksgiving Day. 5. Thanksgiving in the US is also known as American Thanksgiving to differentiate it from the Canadian Thanksgiving, which became a national holiday in 1879. 6. Thanksgiving is the second favorite holiday among American adults, behind Christmas and ahead of Halloween. 7. In Europe, Thanksgiving is popularly known as Erntedank (“harvest thanksgiving festival”). 8. Thanksgiving is the most popular day in the U.S. for racing. 9. Traditionally, a typical Thanksgiving dinner comprises turkey stuffing, roast turkey, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, corn, pumpkin pie, gravy, and green beans, and other foods. 10. Data from the US Poultry and Egg Association, Americans consume more than 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving. Only male turkeys — appropriately named gobblers — actually make the sound. Female turkeys cackle instead. 11. According to the US Calorie Control Council (CCC), an average American may consume a whopping 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. 12. On average, Americans purchase about 250 million pounds of potatoes as well as 77 million pounds of ham during Thanksgiving week. 13. Turkey is the most famous food consumed on Thanksgiving, to the point where Thanksgiving is sometimes colloquially called “Turkey Day.” 14. On the first Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and the Native Americans consumed freshly killed deer, cornbread, seafood, porridge, and assorted wildfowl, among other foods. However, turkey was not part of the Thanksgiving dinner. 15. There are three towns in the United States named “Turkey.” They can be found in Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

Local Events:

1. Speedway In Lights Nov. 18th to Jan. 7th 2. Bikers & Bowling at Holiday Lanes 6pm -9pm Nov. 18th 3. Grown & Sexy Johnson City VFW Nov 26th Cook out 11am to 4pm sale from cook-out go to help a child in need - then Dress To Impress Party at 7pm NO TENNIS SHOES, T-SHIRTS, HOODIES, OR BALL CAPS. Pre-sale $15, at the door $30 VIP $100 for more info: 423-557-7801 4. Winterfest Art Show Nov. 20th to Dec. 4th Sycamore Shoals 5. Bristol Christmas Parade 5pm Dec. 1st 6. Jonesboro Christmas Parade 7pm Dec. 2nd 7. Johnson City Christmas Parade 10:30am Dec. 3rd 8. Christmas at the Carter Mansion Dec, 3rd and 4th 9. Holiday Market 8am Pavilion Founder’s Park Dec. 10th 10. Elizabethton Christmas Parade 6pm Dec. 10th


1. Toys For Tots Ride 11am Dec. 3rd Starts at Greenville VFW rolls to Johnson City VFW


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