Thursday, November 17, 2011

History of Thanksgiving and Pictures to Draw

 "The Pilgrim Fathers incorporated an early thanksgiving day among  moral influences... it blessed and beautified the homes it reached."

Sarah Josepha Hale, 1865

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together."

Edward Winslow, 1621

Thanksgiving, originally celebrated in 1621, is hot on our heels; the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists at Plymouth ate a meal of thanksgiving. It was an English tradition to commemorate a bountiful fall harvest. They acknowledged God during this banquet for blessing them. Massassoit, Squanto, and Samoset were Indian chiefs that attended the festivity. The celebration lasted 3 days.

The colonies generally had a special day or days for thanksgiving; this time of thanksgiving wasn't the same for each colony. These times were marked with people fasting and saying prayers. Thanksgiving for good crops, a colony subscribing to a state constitution, and military triumphs were celebrated.

  • In 1671, the governing body of Charlestown, Massachusetts decreed the 29th of June as a special day to give thanks. It was the first officially registered Thanksgiving.
  • On the 3rd of  October of  1789, George Washington endorsed a proclamation dubbed General Thanksgiving. He said it was a day of publick  thanksgiving and prayer.  This was the first time it was proclaimed since the constitution was in force.
  • In 1863, President Lincoln set forth the 4th Tuesday in November as the day of  Thanksgiving.
  • In 1777, all of the colonies observed a thanksgiving to rejoice and commemorate the British surrendering to the colonies during the Revolutionary War. 
Sarah Josepha Hale advocated for an annual day set aside as an official national Thanksgiving Day. She continued her campaign of 30 years, and requested of each president to adopt a particular date because the official recognition was done by states; the federal government didn't hold a national observance, even though Washington had made his proclamation. Hale was the editor for Godley's Lady's Book. Her efforts paid off when Lincoln set a national observance, and it remained the national official day proclaimed by succeeding presidents. Congress declared it a national holiday in 1941.

So what has this got to do with art? Well, many artists have produced Thanksgiving art, and it is a good thing to know history, and why we celebrate Thanksgiving, which inspires the art. Your children may enjoy making some Thanksgiving drawings.

You may be interested in this article: Thanksgiving: Norman Rockwell

Drawing Sites


How to Draw Thanksgiving Things (Doodle Books)

How to Draw Thanksgiving Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing)

How To Draw A Pumpkin In Six Easy Steps

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