What Is Thanksgiving?

I always thought that Thanksgiving was just a day to celebrate how thankful people are for their friends, their loved ones and just being alive. When I was asked by John Robinson (the blogger, not the Pilgrim – visit his blog, he will crack you up – link opens in a new tab or window) if we have something similar over here, I looked up just what Thanksgiving celebrates.


It turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong according to a couple of the websites I visited. This is a condensed version.


In the late 1500s to early 1600s, a group of people separated from the Church of England and became Separatists. They would meet in a manor in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire and were forced to relocate to Holland following persecution by the English authorities.


In 1618, they decide that they are going to head to America. They obtain a land permit and in 1620, the Mayflower and Speedwell start the journey across the sea. The Speedwell is forced to abandon the journey though due to the ship taking on water. Many of the passengers give up on the idea, but others join the Mayflower which becomes overcrowded with 102 passengers.


In December 1620, New Plymouth is founded by the people who would later become known as the Pilgrim Fathers. It is a bad winter  and inadequate shelter along with disease claims the lives of 45 of the new arrivals.mayflower-harbor

In 1621, the Pilgrims meet with Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag Tribe and pledge peace with them. In exchange, the local tribe teaches them how to grow “The Sisters” – corn, beans, and squash.


November 1621, and only 53 of the original Pilgrims, of which only four were women, survive to celebrate the first Thanksgiving which was to give thanks for the new colonists and a good harvest.pres-med-rec

Jump forward 243 years to October 20th 1864, and Abraham Lincoln issues a proclamation that sets aside the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and for all shops to close so everyone can celebrate it.


Three-quarters of a century later in 1939, and Franklin D Roosevelt changes the date to the fourth Thursday in November due to some months having five repetitions of the weekday. In 1941 Congress approves the change, and Thanksgiving Day is fully set.



Information comes from:

Thanksgiving: What’s the history of the holiday and why does the United States celebrate with a turkey dinner?site

Pilgrim Fatherssite

The Amercian Presidency Project: Abraham Lincolnsite

Sunday Photo “Fiction” – Gyp

126 10 October 18th 2015

Sunday Photo Fiction can be found here.

Somewhere in the distance there was the sound of barking, and the smell of smoke. She couldn’t understand what it was, but as she started to wake up, Doris realised that no longer being in the dream should have removed the smell of the smoke as well. Her eyes opened with a start at the sound of renewed barking from outside her bedroom door and the scratching.

Throwing a robe around herself, she opened the door and coughed at the smell of smoke. It was not coming from her flat though. Doris ran through her hallway and saw a slight drip coming from the top left corner of her front room ceiling. She felt cold creep over her at the thought of the family living upstairs.

Running outside, Doris started yelling “FIRE!” as loud as she could and started banging on the door of the maisonette above her. Looking up, she could see an orange glow flickering in the window. She banged some more, still shouting, and noticed lights in other houses coming on. At 3am, she was glad she could wake someone. The light behind the door came on and she heard muffled shouting, followed less than a minute later by a man and woman running out. The man was holding the hand of a six year old boy, and had a four year old in his arms. The woman had a twenty-two month old daughter in her arms.

The dog had just saved five lives.


I was the four year old in my father’s arms and the dog, Gyp, received an award for saving our lives in 1971.

The photo is not Gyp, the photo is Bob, the statue of a dog at the Battle of Britain Memorial in Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, UK.

September Daily Photo Challenge – September 7th – Hat

There are so many people working on sites near here that I had to use a hard hat as the subject of the daily challenge. The two areas I was looking at was either going to be the Archaeological dig round the corner from me, or the opposite where they are taking a building down floor by floor. I decided to go for the dig as it is bringing back something from centuries ago.

September 07 Hat

September 2015 Daily Photo Challenge – September 2nd – Statue

There are statues everywhere in Dover, to mariners, to swimmers, to commanders, to lesser known people, to better known people. There are also statues of animals dotted about the place. There are about six or seven on the sea front looking out to sea. I didn’t want to use those though, I wanted to go for something different. Something that not everyone in the town I live in sees. People spend most of their time looking at the ground, at their phones or at nothing. They don’t look up. And this town was founded in 120 AD. There is so much history. My house itself is 200 years old (and the way it’s falling apart, you can tell hehe), some of the shops are just as old, if not older. If you look up, there is so much to see. The way buildings are made is incredible. This owl is one of a pair looking over the market square. The detail in them for something that would not have been seen close up is incredible.

September 2nd 2015 Statue

September 2nd 2015