Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving and Presidential Proclamations and Pardons

Home Circle Quilt Block
A portion of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863:

"The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. . .

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.  It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, Roy P. Basler, ed., Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1953

And an unusual Presidential pardon!

As is customary, the President of the United States is expected to pardon a turkey on the eve of Thanksgiving at a White House ceremony.  The tradition dates back to Harry Truman, but George H. W. Bush made the tradition permanent in 1989.  The turkeys are raised in the same way as other turkeys but are selected at birth for pardoning and are trained to handle loud noises, flash photography and large crowds.  This year’s turkey and its back-up, Caramel and Popcorn, were raised by John Burkel near Badger, Minnesota.  If you hurry, you can still vote for which one of them becomes the “official” pardoned turkey.  Click here for more information:  http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/26/one-of-these-turkeys-is-going-to-die-and-you-get-to-choose/

Who would you vote for, Caramel or Popcorn?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comment section below.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Sawtooth Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand? 


  1. It makes me want to cry... poor turkey :(

    1. Actually, neither turkey dies. One receives an official pardon and one doesn't, but they both live.

    2. As you state, each turkey lives and I don't think a turkey even cares whether it has a title or not.
      I am glad to note that Lincoln included those "Sojourning in foreign lands".

  2. You haven't been on for a while. Hope you didn't eat too much turkey...haha


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