Happy Thanksgiving everyone
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 minute.
Even more exciting, Last night was the start of Hanukkah.
Hope you've added Pfizer stock to your portfolio (Pfizer is the maker of LIPITOR®.)
It's also National French Toast Day
Eating as much French Toast (pan perdu) as you can helps defeat the terrorist. It also helps absorb some of last nights alcohol.
November 28, 1943 -
Randall Stuart Newman, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist was born on this date.
Newman has been nominated for twenty Academy Awards, winning twice. He has also won three Emmys, five Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy.
November 28, 1944 -
Vincente Minnelli's gift to his future wife, Judy Garland, the musical film Meet Me In St. Louis, opened in NYC on this date.
Judy Garland scoffed at the idea of portraying yet another teenager (she was 21 when filming began) and wanted nothing to do with the film. Her mother even went to MGM chief Louis B. Mayer on her behalf. However, Vincente Minnelli convinced her to play the part of Esther Smith, and Judy later fell in love with the story. In her later years she considered it one of her favorite roles.
November 28, 1962 -
If you watch the news and don't like it, then this is your counter program to the news.
Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, comedian, television host, political satirist and America's most trusted newscaster, was born on this date.
(I'm working with an alien computer, so this is going to a slightly abbreviated version)
Today in History -
Sorry boys and girls but it's not a pleasant day in history today -
November 28, 1942 -
A fire at the overcrowded and sleazy Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killed 491 people on this date. Flammable artificial palm trees aided the spread of the fire.
The numerous dead were crushed, burnt, and asphyxiated, all within minutes.
There's a lesson here boys and girl - sleazy nightclubs kill!!!
November 28, 1953 -
Frank Olson, government scientist, has a particularly bad dream and jumped to his death from the Statler Hotel in New York City on this date.
It was later revealed in 1975 that Olson had been administered LSD by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in a CIA experiment. That really must have been one bad trip.
November 28, 1981 -
A drunken Natalie Wood toppled off her yacht near Catalina Island and drowned. Her husband Robert Wagner and melodramatic friend Christopher Walken, were on board and unaware of her predicament, apparently having some sort of argument in the cabin -
possibly about whether or not a drunken Natalie Wood could float (you know that's still an awful joke.)
November 28, 1994 -
Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver while cleaning the prison bathroom.
Dahmer's brain was to be preserved in formaldehyde at the request of Mom, but a court ordered its destruction in late 1995.
There's yet another lesson here boys and girls, dirty prison bathrooms kill!!!
And so it goes
There are 28 days until Christmas.