Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving folks!

We've gone over the river and through the woods to get to where we needed to be for dinner today.

Here is a brief history of the holiday you may wish to share with your loved ones:

In the winter of 1620-1621, a group of immigrants in Massachusetts experienced a devastating winter. The weather was fierce. Food was scarce. Many died. At last spring came, then summer, and by the time of the autumn harvest things were looking about as rosy as they ever look in Massachusetts.

At a fundraising dinner that fall, Governor Bradford stood up and gave a speech:

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God this harvest gives us a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to the Committee to Re-Elect the Governor, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

The ensuing winter didn't turn out too badly, so the superstitious immigrants concluded that Governor Bradford's magic spell of "Thanksgiving" had done the trick.

The holiday was intermittently celebrated for years, with an enthusiasm scaled to the previous winter's weather, until November 26, 1789, when President Washington issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the Constitution.

Washington's proclamation wasn't much different from Bradford's.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God we've got a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. Thank God we've got our own damn country now and don't have to put up with a bunch of meddling European bastards. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to Federalists for Washington, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

Washington, the Constitution, and many of the immigrants (who were now Americans) survived the winter, so this new spell was also deemed effective.

President Lincoln later proclaimed the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863 (although he did not survive to see the next Thanksgiving),

but President Roosevelt moved it back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1939 to extend the time available for holiday shopping.

President Ford proposed making it the third Wednesday in September, in order to really extend the time available for holiday shopping, but he only made the proposal to his golden retriever, Liberty, so the suggestion never reached congress.

And so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year, in honor of having survived last winter, having got rid of those meddling European bastards, having invented our own rules and having plenty of time to shop before the holidays.

Remember, it's about 20 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey and 15 minutes for a fresh one.

November 22, 1940 -
The Letter, starring Bette Davis (at her best) premiered in NYC on this date.

Due to the restrictive the Production Code, the film ending is different from the original play because it would not allow one of its characters be seen to get away with adultery and murder.

November 22, 1968 -
The Beatles released their long-awaited double album, simply called The Beatles, but better known as The White Album.

The album was the first the Beatles undertook following the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, and the first released by their own record label, Apple.

Today in History:
November 22, 1888 -
Tarzan of the Apes (Lord Greystoke) was born on this date,

according to Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel.

November 22, 1928 -
Maurice Ravel composition Boléro has it's first public performance in Paris on this date.

Boléro became Ravel's most famous composition, much to the surprise of the composer, who had predicted that most orchestras would refuse to play it

November 22, 1963 -
We, in this country, in this generation, are - by destiny rather than choice - the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. - from the address that President Kennedy never got to deliver in Dallas on this date.

A covert CIA operation privately funded by a plutocratic cabal of multinational industrial interests acting in conjunction with extraterrestrial forces and the Knights Templar succeeded in making it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President John F. Kennedy, on this date.

Or if this is too much for you, you can always believe in the MAGIC BULLET.

November 22, 1968 -
Many a KKK member and Daughter of the Civil War were given the vapors on this date in history.

Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) share the first interracial kiss in TV history on Star Trek on this date.

November 22, 1975 -
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias was proclaimed King of Spain after he confirms with advisers that Francisco Franco planned to be dead for a while.

Juan Carlos is related to both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (and as you know they are related to each other.) To confuse matters even more, his wife Queen Sofia, is related to all three of them.

Oh, love among the royals.

November 22, 1995 -
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.

Woody and Buzz Lightyear are inspired by director John Lasseter's own childhood toys. He based Woody on his own pull-string Casper doll, and once he grew out of Casper he moved on to a G.I Joe, a flashy toy at the time of his childhood.

Please remember all of those who are less fortunate than yourself, (especially those affected by the storm a few weeks ago) while you are cramming your face with that second slice of pecan pie this evening

32 more shopping days until Christmas, 15 more shopping days until Hanukkah, Black Friday is just a day away and the world may just be over in 28 days.

And so it goes

In case you're looking for it - the annual Thanksgiving menu and recipes are here.

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