Happy Thanksgiving in the High Country. Here, it is a day of gathering with friends and family, hitting the slopes, watching football and, of course, eating.Thankfully, for those who are still getting acquainted and might be lonely, there’s the third annual free Breckenridge Community Thanksgiving Dinner that takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at the Blue Moose Restaurant at 540 S. Main St.Donations left at the door will benefit the House with the Red Door, a sanctuary for young people.The Summit County Rotary Club, always working for the community, holds its annual Thanksgiving feast 12:30-5 p.m. at the Summit County Community and Senior Center at the County Commons near Frisco.We salute all of the organizers and workers.We also want to thank all of the people who are working today to keep the resort community running and safe.And last, but not least, let’s lend our Thanksgiving thoughts to the soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the families who have lost loved ones.Now, we pass along a ditty from the folks at Mount Vernon, Va., who seek to keep George Washington’s accomplishments before us. According to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, it’s George who did the most to establish our Thanksgiving tradition, not the Pilgrims or Abraham Lincoln.Here’s the case.”Americans don’t know it and children aren’t taught it, but George Washington is responsible for our Thanksgiving holiday. It was our first president who led the charge to make this day of thanks a truly national event – not the Pilgrims and not Abraham Lincoln.”On Oct. 3, 1789, George Washington issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, designating for “the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving’ to be held on “Thursday the 26th day of November 1789, marking the first national celebration of a holiday that has become commonplace in today’s households.”While subsequent presidents failed to maintain this tradition, it was Washington’s original Proclamation that guided Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.”In fact, Lincoln issued his proclamation on the same day, Oct. 3, and marked the same Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, as Washington, setting Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of November after our first president’s example.”The proclamation was printed in newspapers, including the Oct. 9, 1789, issue of the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser.”George Washington first mentioned the possibility of a national Thanksgiving Day in a confidential letter to James Madison in August 1789 (just months after taking office), asking for his advice on approaching the Senate for their opinion on “a day of thanksgiving.'”By the end of September 1789, a resolution had been introduced to the House of Representatives requesting that “a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving.'”The committee put the resolution before the president and George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Proclamation within days.”Washington knew the value of a thanksgiving day long before becoming our first president. During the Revolutionary War, he would order special thanksgiving services for his troops after successful battles, as well as publicly endorse efforts by the Continental Congress to proclaim days of thanks, usually in recognition of military victories and alliances.”The concept of thanksgiving was not new to the citizens of the new United States. Colonists even before the Pilgrims often established “Thank Days’ to mark certain occasions. These one-time events could occur at any time of the year and were usually more solemn than the Thanksgiving we observe today, emphasizing prayer and spiritual reflection.”Thanksgiving was not made a legal holiday until 1941 when Congress named the fourth Thursday in November as our national day of thanks in answer to public outcry over President Roosevelt’s attempt to prolong the Christmas shopping season by moving Thanksgiving from the traditional last Thursday to the third Thursday of November.”
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