Published 4:30 pm Thursday, December 2, 2010
November 26 – I hope that each and every one of you has had a wonderful celebration of prayer and Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
The history of the first celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States is a little controversial. The Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony claim that they were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving and to give thanks to God for helping them survive their first brutal winter in New England.
However, as a proud Virginian, I choose to believe that the first Thanksgiving was held on Dec. 4, 1619, at Berkely Plantation when the colonists and native Americans joined together in a day of prayer, feasting, and Thanksgiving. Whichever version you believe, it is a fact that Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an annual tradition since 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving.
Today, with all that is going on in the world, it is sometimes hard to think that we have anything to be thankful for but each of us has much to be thankful for – our families, friends, our freedom, this great nation in which we live, and so many more that are too numerous to list.
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Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, said it very well, “There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as president, but I expect to find the solution to those problems just in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word of God.”
This month in history: When I was looking at a list of things that happened in November, I was struck by the absence of an event that was so significant for my generation, the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. The entry for Nov. 22, 2005, is the release by Microsoft of the XBox 360 video game.
Other entries include Life magazine hitting the newsstands on Nov. 23, 1936; first U.S. absentee voting law enacted by Vermont on Nov. 24, 1896; Farmer's Almanac first published on Nov. 25, 1792; refrigerated railroad car patented by J.S. Sutherland on Nov. 26, 1867; and first test flight of the Boeing 727 on Nov. 27, 1962.
On Nov. 20, I participated in the Second Annual Wine Festival at Poplar Forest (Thomas Jefferson's retreat home in Bedford County). And I was happy to see some of our neighbors, Marolyn Lavra and her daughters, Cathy Bissett and Valerie Lavra, at the Wine Festival.
Bob and Cathy Bissett hosted Thanksgiving dinner for a large part of their family. What a wonderful way to get the holiday season underway.
Belated birthday greetings go out to Grant Cooper who celebrated Nov. 23.
If you have any announcements or news that you would like to share, please call me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.