Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Retro Quote – Jay Leno

“Thanksgiving began in 1621 when Native Americans sat down with a bunch of undocumented pilgrims.  They had dinner, and the pilgrims never left.”

Jay Leno

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Happy Thanksgiving 2014!


“Great Spirit and all unseen, this day we pray and ask You for guidance,

humbly we ask You to help us and fellow men to have recourse to peaceful

ways of life, because of uncontrolled deceitfulness by humankind. Help

us all to love, not hate one another.


We ask you to be seen in an image of Love and Peace. Let us be seen in

beauty, the colors of the rainbow. We respect our Mother, the planet,

with our loving care, for from Her breast we receive our nourishment.


Let us not listen to the voices of the two-hearted, the destroyers of mind,

the haters and self-made leaders, whose lusts for power and wealth will

lead us into confusion and darkness.


Seek visions always of world beauty, not violence nor battlefields.


It is our duty to pray always for harmony between man and earth, so that

the earth will bloom once more. Let us show our emblem of love and goodwill

for all life and land.


Pray for the House of Glass, for within it are minds clear and pure as ice

and mountain streams. Pray for the great leaders of nations in the House of

Mica who in their own quiet ways help the earth in balance.


We pray the Great Spirit that one day our Mother Earth will be purified

into a healthy peaceful one. Let us sing for strength of wisdom with all

nations for the good of all people. Our hope is not yet lost, purification

must be to restore the health of our Mother Earth for lasting peace and


Techqua Ikachi – Hopi Prayer for Peace

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Happy American Thanksgiving!


“Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.

Remain close to the Great Spirit.

Show great respect for your fellow beings.

Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.

Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.


Do what you know to be right.

Look after the well-being of mind and body.

Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.

Be truthful and honest at all times.

Take full responsibility for your actions.

Let us greet the dawn of a new day,

when all can live as one with nature,

and peace reigns everywhere.


Oh Great Spirit, bring to our brothers and sisters,

the wisdom of Nature and the knowledge,

that if her laws are obeyed,

this land will again flourish,

and grasses and trees will grow as before.


Guide those that through their councils,

seek to spread the wisdom of their leaders to all people.

Heal the raw wounds of the Earth,

and restore to our soul the richness,

which strengthens our bodies,

and makes them us in our councils.


Bring to all the knowledge that great cities,

live only through the bounty,

of the good earth beyond their paved streets,

and towers of stone and steel.”


Native American Commandments

– Jasper Saunkeah, Cherokee

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First Thanksgivings

A depiction of the 1565 Augustine, Florida Thanksgiving.

Americans know the story.  The Mayflower Pilgrims – thankful to survive, first, a brutal voyage across the Atlantic and, second, a nasty winter sat down with a group of locals (a.k.a. Indians) and had a bountiful feast of food.  Like many American legends, it’s a mixture of truth and hyperbole.  But, as time progresses and historians research more, Americans are starting to realize they actually may have experienced more than just one “First Thanksgiving.”

Along with Thanksgiving, descendants of the Mayflower like to claim they established the first permanent European settlement in what is now the United States.  They’re wrong on both counts.  Long before the Mayflower even set sail, Spanish explorers had spread throughout much of present-day Latin America and what is now the southwestern U.S.  In 1565, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived in northeastern Florida.  He named the stretch of land near the inlet in honor of Augustine, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church; it was on Augustine’s feast day – August 28 – that Menendez de Aviles and his crew had sighted land.  Menendez de Aviles and his contingent of some 1,500 mostly military personnel encountered the Timucuan Indians who had occupied the region for millennia.  The Spaniards had brought pork, olive oil and wine, but the Timucuans helped them gather oysters and giant clams.  At some point immediately afterwards, the two groups feasted together.  The city eventually became St. Augustine, and today its residents declare they are home to the nation’s first Thanksgiving celebration.

At Texas’ westernmost point sits the city of El Paso, where humans first settled around 10,000 B.C.  In March of 1598, another Spanish explorer named Don Juan de Oñate led an expedition across the Chihuahua Desert, hoping to colonize regions north of the massive Rio Grande.  After a 50-day trek, Oñate and his entourage of roughly 500 people, including several children, arrived in the area of contemporary El Paso.  Most were barely alive.  They’d exhausted their supplies of food and water; a rain shower saving them at one point.  Once they reach the El Paso area, though, conditions and circumstances improved.  The indigenous Tigua Indians helped the Oñate group capture wild game and fish.  After several days of recuperation, Oñate ordered a feast to venerate the expedition’s survival.  On April 30, 1598, the Spaniards and the Tiguas celebrated together.

A member of the expedition wrote: “We built a great bonfire and roasted the meat and fish, and then all sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before. . . We were happy that our trials were over; as happy as were the passengers in the Ark when they saw the dove returning with the olive branch in his beak, bringing tidings that the deluge had subsided.”

In April of 1989, the city of El Paso began honoring the Oñate celebration, laying claim to that coveted “First Thanksgiving” mantle.  But, Florida and Texas aren’t alone.

The state of Maine also stakes a claim to the “First Thanksgiving” on the basis of a service held by colonists on August 9, 1607, to give thanks for a safe voyage led by George Popham.

Connecticut may be the first state to set aside an official annual day of general thanksgiving.  Some records claim the first proclamation came on September 18, 1639.

In 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony observed a special day of prayer that is now often called the “First Thanksgiving.”  Even earlier in Florida, a small colony of French Huguenots living near present-day Jacksonville noted a special thanksgiving prayer.

Virginians are convinced their ancestors celebrated the first Thanksgiving when Jamestown settlers in 1610 held a religious service and a feast honoring their survival of a harsh winter.

President Abraham Lincoln may have declared the first official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863.  But, along with Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia, the states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont all had annual thanksgiving observances before the 19th century.  New York joined them in 1817, and soon afterwards Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin followed.

Centuries ago, our ancestors didn’t think much about the far future – not to the same degree we do now.  They were glad to survive one day at a time.  Feasts of thanksgiving – surviving a harsh winter, a summer, or a monsoon – were always reasons to celebrate.  Our predecessors understood how dependent they were upon the world’s natural elements; they never felt they could control the wind and the rain.  They were at nature’s mercy.  And, everyone should be thankful for that.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone here in the States has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.  And remember, Thanksgiving is all about family and friends – not about this:

Video source.

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Speaking of pumpkins…

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November 4, 2012 · 11:58 PM

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day for my Canadian neighbors.  Canada – which remains caught in a battle between French and English, while continually reminding the U.S. it is NOT a 51st state – adopted their holiday from the indigenous Canadian peoples.  Canadian Indians held ceremonies and festivals to celebrate bountiful summer harvests at the threshold of winter – which, from what I understand, can be pretty nasty in Canada.  But then again, all peoples across the globe gave thanks for enough food to get them through the tough times in life.  We modern humans, with our plethora of electronic devices, can still learn from our humble forebears.

So, here’s hoping our northern neighbors had a grand holiday!

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