As you know, next week is Thanksgiving. It's a time where we gather with our family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
We have many things to be thankful for in our district and state. We're blessed with natural resources and abundant, fertile land to grow food that feeds folks all around the nation. We're blessed with an economy that weathered the economic downturn that has returned to pre-recession employment levels. We're blessed to have good people in this state that care for one another, and are the reason our citizens are labeled "Minnesota nice."
Thanksgiving in the United States traces its roots back to 1621, when Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a successful growing season, helped by Native Americans who helped teach Pilgrims to fish and plant vegetables. In 1777, the Continental Congress delivered the First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving. It wasn't until 1782 that John Hanson, the President of the Continental Congress declared Thanksgiving Day to be the 4th Thursday of every November, though it was not an official holiday, and Thanksgiving proclamations still occurred only sporadically in the years following.
Thanksgiving has been an annual tradition since Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation in 1863; a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Thanksgiving has been observed annually ever since. Thanksgiving was passed as a joint resolution in Congress in 1941.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are so blessed here in our state, and have a lot to be thankful for. If you are in a position to give to those less fortunate, I hope you'll consider donating to a food shelf, or volunteering your time to serve or deliver meals to those in need this Thanksgiving.