From the pen of Hans Christian Andersen, and first published in 1837: The Emperor’s New Suit.
More on Andersen and his many tales here.
THANKSGIVING DAY 1814
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace, I have deemed it proper by this proclamation to recommend that Thursday, the 12th of January next, be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious assemblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. They will be invited by the same solemn occasion to call to mind the distinguished favors conferred on the American people in the general health which has been enjoyed, in the abundant fruits of the season, in the progress of the arts instrumental to their comfort, their prosperity, and their security, and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, a devout thankfulness for all which ought to be mingled with their supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him; to support and animate them in the discharge of their respective duties; to continue to them the precious advantages flowing from political institutions so auspicious to their safety against dangers from abroad, to their tranquillity at home, and to their liberties, civil and religious; and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and constituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace its blessings may be speedily and happily restores.
Given at the city of Washington, the 16th day of November, 1814, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-eighth.
Historian Thomas S. Kidd provides some background and perspective on tomorrow’s holiday in the United States.
And just in case you don’t know, technically we shouldn’t be calling the Pilgrims of the Mayflower “Puritans.” Kidd explains:
The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony weren’t the first Europeans to settle in North America, nor were they the first permanent English colonists. But because of our annual celebration of Thanksgiving, and our hazy images of their 1621 meal with Native Americans, the Pilgrims have become the emblematic colonists in America’s national memory. Although modern Thanksgiving has become largely non-religious—focused more on food, family, and football than explicitly thanking God—the Pilgrims’ experience reveals a compelling religious aspect of our country’s roots.
Although people often refer to the Pilgrims as “Puritans,” they technically were English Separatists, Christians who had decided that the state-sponsored Anglican Church was fatally corrupt, and that they should found their own churches. (The Puritans, who would establish Massachusetts in 1630, believed in reforming the Anglican Church from within.) Establishing independent churches, however, was illegal. Under heavy persecution, some Separatists decided to move to Leiden in the Netherlands around the same time that the Virginia Company founded Jamestown in 1607.
The Netherlands offered the Separatists religious liberty, but the Pilgrims also became concerned about the negative influences of living in such a culturally diverse society. So in 1620, 102 settlers sailed to America on board the Mayflower. Their final Old World port was Plymouth, England, which supplied the name for their new settlement in what became southeastern Massachusetts.
Read the rest of the article here.
A fairly fresh widow nervously asked me this week if I’d ever forgotten my husband was dead – whether I’d ever started to think about what to buy for him, before remembering he was gone, that sort of thing. Oh, my, yes. Children, if someone close to you dies, there will be times you automatically start to call them on the phone, or set their place at the table, or something like that, or you will just plain wonder from time to time if they’re really dead. It happens. Not to worry. It’s normal. It can be gut wrenching, and freaky, and I remember being terrified during the early days that I’d forget David was dead while talking to someone else, but it’s just one of those everyday difficulties you have to expect while grieving the loss of someone who was very much a part of your life.
The corn that wrapped half our property got harvested this week. I’ll admit to sometimes just standing at the window, soaking up sights I haven’t been able to see for months.
My nephew took his cattle to the butcher this week. It feels funny not to have them around. (He pastured them next door.) It also feels a bit strange to think that I’ll soon be eating meat from a creature I used to say hi to several times a week. It’s not enough to turn me back into a vegetarian, though.
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My book sales are still miniscule, but I’ve made just enough in royalties to feel like I could go to the fabric store without going backwards in the bank account. After I bought a couple of yards of denim at half off, the clerk offered me the remaining almost-yard for just over three bucks. ‘End of bolt’ pricing, I think they call it. Oh, yes, I took it. And four yards of a cotton print fabric on sale for $4 a yard. The house is in full press sewing mode right now. If you’ve bought one or more of my books, and see me in new clothes in the near future, take a bow.
To be honest, it’s not really like the book sale money is mine to spend yet. I’m still paying off proof costs, and the cost of bringing in books to put out on consignment at local stores, so am not quite in the black yet. But I’m getting close. And my wardrobe right now is split into ‘worn out’ and ‘just barely too tight.’ (Yes, I’m middle aged. Why do you ask?)
Getting the focus off me for a bit, 40 Days for Life has a matching grant challenge it’s trying to meet before Tuesday. Donate before then, and if they’re not over the top yet, your gift will be doubled.
Well, here, let’s make it official, with what they say in an email: “Make any tax-deductible contribution to 40 Days for Life before midnight next Tuesday, November 22, and your gift — or the annualized amount of your monthly pledge — will be DOUBLED, up to $101,200!”
For Thanksgiving recipes, history, activities, and more, see Mommy Life’s collection of Thanksgiving posts. (You can’t fight the atheist/PC version of the holiday very well if you don’t know the real history, now can you?)
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!