Scars of Slavery
Thanksgiving Day in the United States may trace its origins back to the English Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving, and it retains many of the trappings of a harvest festival, even though it is now observed well after the fall harvest is in. Like many of our holidays, Thanksgiving has a history which includes debate over the beginning (Jamestown in 1619?, Plymouth in 1621?) and variations in the date of observance (final Thursday in November? 4th Thursday?)
Both Wikipedia and the History Channel have detailed writeups on the holiday, but this year we might simply want to read Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation which was issued on October 3, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, and exactly 74 years after a similar call for a day of thanksgiving was issued by President George Washington.
Remember that David Brule is scheduled to speak on local aspects of King Philip’s War at noon on Friday, December 1 in the Jones Library Woodbury Room. And a walking tour of David Peck Todd’s (19th century) Amherst is scheduled for 2 PM on Saturday, December 2. Find more information here.