This Day In History December 18 - States Give Thanks

The new United States celebrates its first national day of thanksgiving on Thursday, December 18, 1777, commemorating the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga after the surrender of General John Burgoyne and 5,000 British troops in October 1777.

In proclaiming the first national day of thanksgiving, Congress wrote,

1777 Thanksgiving ProclamationFORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of;  And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence, but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defence and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a Measure to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

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The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving

By Dr. Paul Jehle, Executive Director
Plymouth Rock Foundation

At this time of year many people reflect upon the Pilgrims and the origin of our American Thanksgiving holiday. Some contend that it either never occurred or was not a friendly affair with a legacy of genocide. Hopefully some context and clarity can help remove these myths and bring factual balance. Consider some of these facts: (1) We do not know when the actual harvest feast occurred, though we know it was the fall of 1621. (2) We don't know if the Pilgrims invited their Native neighbors to a pre-planned event, but we know they feasted together. (3) The Natives provided much of the food, and though they had turkey, venison ruled the day.

The Pilgrims (who were not called "pilgrims" until late in the 18th century), as children of the Reformation, "separatists" from the established Church of England, called for days of prayer as well as days of thanksgiving. Days of solemn prayer (and often fasting) were times of repentance for sin; known or unknown. Days of thanksgiving were called when specific answers to those prayers occurred. Neither of these was the origin of the harvest festival in the fall of 1621.
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Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!Darrell Castle talks about the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and why it is still relevant today.

Today's Podcast: Listen Now

Hello, this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report. Today is Friday, November 15, 2019, and on today’s Report I will be talking about the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago this week, and why it is still relevant today. On November 9, 1989, thousands of East Germans imprisoned by the Soviet System for more than four decades began the process of tearing down the wall, just as Ronald Reagan had encouraged them to do in 1987. I remember watching it on television as if it were yesterday.

Another U.S. President went to Berlin in 1963 just two years after the wall was built and made a similar speech as a way of encouraging and showing solidarity with people imprisoned by that terrible regime. President Kennedy spoke outdoors, near the wall.hundreds of thousands of people on the east side of Berlin gathered to listen to his words by loudspeaker. The same thing happened when President Reagan spoke more than two decades later.

Why is the fall of the Berlin Wall relevant today since it has been 30 years? For one thing it helps to remember as a way to understand where you have been. If you don’t know where you’ve been its hard to understand where you are going. A second reason would be to review the long history of the cold war, the many tactics employed, and the tactic that finally worked. Finally, it may help to understand how the soviet system denied sovereignty to captive nations as does the European Union although in a different manner today...  (Continue reading transcript)

The Castle Report


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