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Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
  South Dakota
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November 2014 Pastor's letter
Dear Fellow Followers of Jesus:
The history of Thanksgiving Day in the United States is an interesting one: “Thanksgiving might not be celebrated in the United States today, were it not for a patient, persistent woman named Sarah Hale.
“It is well-known that the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621 to give thanks for their winter in the New World.
“In 1789, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation to commemorate the first Pilgrim celebration. But Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States discontinued it, calling Thanksgiving, ‘a kingly practice.’
“After this, Thanksgiving was observed by some individual states, and on whatever date suited their fancy.
“Then in 1828, Mrs. Hale, the editor of the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book and author of the poem ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ began campaigning for the restoration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
“She wrote letters and sought appointments with national leaders from the President down. Time after time she was politely rebuffed, sometimes being told it was ‘impossible’ and ‘impractical,’ and sometimes being dismissed with a this-is-none-of-your-business scolding.
“Finally in 1863 President Lincoln listened seriously to her plea that North and South ‘lay aside enmities and strife on (Thanksgiving) Day.’ He proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November to be the official “National Thanksgiving Day.” This day was finally ratified by the U. S. Congress in 1941” [Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p.1459)].
The Bible tells us about giving thanks to God on a regular basis. This Thanksgiving Day we can say with the writer of Psalm 118:28-29: “You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”

In Jesus Christ’s Service,
Pastor Richard Milbrandt

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