scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Thanksgiving SMM
Whitehead, Ray LTC OCPA (Ray.Whitehead@HQDA.ARMY.MIL
Wed Nov 24 1999 - 12:56:35 CST
If it's not too late, I thought some of you could might find this good
material for a Thanksgiving season Scoutmaster Minute. It's part of what is
being taught this week to Latin American students at the U.S. Army School of
What is Thanksgiving and why is it a uniquely U.S. holiday? What does this
day stand for? Eating turkey; don't think so.
Is it to recognize the pilgrims first year at Plymouth Rock? Could be.
Is it to remember how the local Indians helped out the pilgrims? Not really.
Is it to celebrate the fall harvest? Nope.
Well, that's what we learned is school isn't it? Yeah, but we also have
swapped Jesus for Santa Clause at Christmas (X-mas) time!!
Thanksgiving was created as a national holiday in October, 1789 (in
conjunction with the ratification of our constitution and the creation of
the United States of America) by then President George Washington. The
original intent is celebrate the creation of this nation and give thanks to
God for giving us, human beings, the wisdom to create a just and democratic
governmental system. We also should, according to the original intent, ask
that all other nations be so blessed so all of mankind can prosper.
The following is the Proclamation that establishes Thanksgiving.
Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly
to implore His protection and favor, and:
Whereas, both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee, requested me
"to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public
thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful
hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording
them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their
safety and happiness,"
Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of
November next to be devoted by people of these States to the service of that
great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that
was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto
Him our service and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the
people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for His signal
and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in
the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of
tranquility, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable
and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions
of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national
one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we
are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful
knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He
has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in must humbly offering our prayers and
supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to
pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in
public or private stations, to perform our separate and relative duties
properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all
the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional
laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide
all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us),
and to bless them with good governments, peace and concord; to promote the
knowledge and practice of true religions and virtue, and the increase of
science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a
degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October,
President of the United States of America