I'm spending the holiday with mixed Czech-American company - teaching our foreigners the true meaning of over-consumption with turkey, potatoes, cranberries, rolls, etc., etc., etc. So, to add a bit of redeeming intellectualism to a day otherwise crammed full of shameless binging, here's a bit of history on Thanksgiving Day.
The custom originated in 1621, when Governor Bradford of the Plymouth colony appointed a day for public praise and prayer after the first harvest, and the practice spread throughout the other New England colonies. The first national observance was when President Washington, at the request of Congress, recommended Thursday, 26 November, 1789, to the people of the United States "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God". This proclamation exhorted the people to "beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best". It was the first observation of the day on the date that present custom holds it.
In 1817 Thanksgiving Day was first officially noticed in New York State, and by 1859 its observance had spread to twenty-eight states and two territories. In 1863 President Lincoln made his first proclamation, naming the last Thursday of November as a day of national observance.
Tak, hezké Díkůvzdání - Happy Thanksgiving!