Here’s a story you can share with your friends and family as you take a few days off from your practice to give thanks and count your blessings this week.
History Of Thanksgiving
While their original destination was the coast of Virginia, the first Pilgrims were blown off course and reached Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts on December 11, 1620, after a long, hard journey at sea of 66 days.
Ill prepared for the brutally cold New England winter, 46 Pilgrims died of starvation and exposure over the next few months.
Although the concept of North American farming was not well understood by Europeans, the survivors were saved in large part because a Native American named Squanto taught them how to grow enough food to live on.
The harsh winter was followed by a severe drought in the summer of 1621. These were tough times!
The desperate Pilgrims decided to hold a day of fasting and prayer in mid summer to ask God for a bountiful harvest. As legend has it, it rained that very day, the crops were saved and the Pilgrims grew enough food to survive another winter.
After the autumn harvest, 90 people, including Native Americans, were invited to a grand party that is now known as ‘The First Thanksgiving Feast’.
According to a first-hand account written by the leader of colony, the meal consisted of duck, geese, venison, fish and berries. There was no mention of turkey.
Establishing The Tradition
The Pilgrims saw no reason to repeat the ceremony as crops were good in 1622.
They changed their mind and held another day of fasting and prayer after a severe drought in 1623.
The feasts were then held sporadically until all thirteen colonies joined in a communal celebration of thanks in 1777 to commemorate victory over the British.
Prior to the Civil War, a well-known magazine editor named Sarah Hale led a campaign to have a day of thanks proclaimed as a national holiday.
This was made official by President Lincoln in 1963, when he declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the US.
Happy Thanksgiving To My Readers!
While this is hardly a classic practice management article, I think there are three important takeaways:
• Overcoming hardships with the power of perseverance
• The willingness to learn from others as the Pilgrims would not have survived without the help of Native Americans
• The importance of showing gratitude.
With that, I’ll end by wishing you a happy holiday and thanking all the readers of Dr. Hayes Blog for your support.
I learn a lot from blogging with my optometric colleagues and want you to know that I truly appreciate your support.
Thanks for reading,
Jerry Hayes, OD
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Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are for discussion purposes only and are NOT intended to serve as legal, accounting or investment advice. ©2011 Jerry Hayes, OD. Not to be reproduced without written permission of the author.
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