Thursday, 26 November 2009


It’s Thanksgiving Day in America and in Canada. This day, some say, originates in the early 1600s in the Plymouth Plantation, as the above illustration suggests. It has been celebrated over the US since 1863, becoming a Federal Holiday in 1941. Originally religious in origin, thanking God for the successful gathering in of the harvest, and another year’s food secured, it has, over the years, become a secular holiday, enjoyed by the whole population (and not just those engaged in agriculture). Traditionally the National Turkey Federation has presented a turkey to the President of the United States, but since 1989, in the Presidency of Bush the Elder, the turkey has been pardoned, as shown in this video sent on to me by Danny, 1st Earl of the Ozarks.

Amazing how these things get started. One pardon by President Bush Senior, and now it's a tradition.

Anyway, to all Americans and Canadians, have a great holiday. Happy Thanksgiving Day.


  1. Sorry to disappoint but here in Canada Thanksgiving is well and truly over - October 8th. Don't really know why Canada and the US celebrate months apart - possibly because the harvest here is much earlier?

  2. Tris..

    Excellent stuff, Obama was on form. He wanted to eat this sucker, poor Turkey lol. He said he didn't like its hair cut lol, its no to far of his own I might add.

    Hey that Newscaster at the end was Obamas double.

  3. Och Scunnert. Sorry about that. I had no idea. I imagine you're right about reason for the the date of the celebration being earlier up north. I suppose by now you're starting to get snow.

    So then, for all Canadians, BELATED good tidings....

  4. Spook.

    Obama has a way about him doesn't he? He could do stand up when he's done being President.... or maybe he'd like to apply for the Scotland Presidency?

    (Although you were proposed last night for that.... so maybe not....!!!)

  5. Tris, although we normally would have had a flurry or two by now no snow yet. Forecast for the weekend though. They call this area of Ontario the Banana Belt because we only get four/five months of snow and freezing weather. Lucky us eh?

  6. What luxury you have Scunnert. I've a mate in Quebec City who expects 6 to 7 months of snow every year November. And we feel badly done by if we get any more than 3 days!!!!

  7. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 26, 2009 6:44 pm

    Many thanks to Tris for his thoughtful Thanksgiving Day wishes, and for sharing what has become a White House tradition....the turkey pardon by the President.

    Although I'm sure we've talked about the Canadian holiday, I was remiss in not mentioning that Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on an earlier day. (One aspect of the Thanksgiving tradition is indeed thanks to God for the harvest.) After it was made an official federal holiday in the US, FDR fiddled a bit with the day of the American observance. But it's generally been observed on a late Thursday in November (now the fourth). I believe in Canada it's celebrated on the second Monday in October (unless Wikipedia fails me.)

    President Obama was indeed in good form at the ceremony. He said "There are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office. (Pause) And then there are moments like this...where I pardon a turkey..."

    It's an enduring American tradition that those colonists of the Plymouth Plantation were befriended by the Native Americans they met, and shared an early harvest feast with them. In an amazing coincidence, among these "Indians," who had probably watched the Mayflower land from the cover of the forest, was one named Tisquantum (or Squanto.) He spoke English and offered invaluable service to the early colonists as an interpreter. Squanto had actually lived for a time in London. Who would have thought it?

  8. The reason behind the difference is geographical; autumn season starts earlier in Canada than in America.

    Simples ☺

  9. Danny:

    Thanks for that. I remembered when Scunnert commented, that you had told me a few years ago about the Canadian Thanksgiving was at a different time. I just forgot. Duh....

    You told me too about Tisquantum who had lived in England and spoke English. I imagine that must have come as a surprise to the settlers...

    Yes, Mr Obama was funny when he reminded us that this was perhaps not a piece of work which had inspired his run for president. Like I say, he could do stand up!

    Anyways, I hope you had a good day and are now full of turkey!

  10. QM... he he... Simples.... that's me! As I said to Danny... Duh!

  11. Danny, 1st Earl of the OzarksNovember 26, 2009 9:28 pm

    Tris....yes, I'm full of turkey now. The presidential pardon certainly didn't extend to my house. (Traditional American feast days are dangerous times for turkeys....LOL.)

  12. As they are here Danny....

    In fact, we have a saying here when people are unlikely to be "for" something, a government proposal that will harm them, for example, that "turkeys don't vote for Christmas".