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Sunday Nov 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2015

Today marks the 225th anniversary of the national Thanksgiving holiday proclaimed by George Washington, as a way to give thanks for the Constitution, and honor religious and civil liberty.

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Before 1789, Thanksgiving had been observed in different ways in different regions. And during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress issued various proclamations – several a year at one point – for national days of prayer and giving thanks, usually in November and December.

President Washington had been asked by the First Congress in September 1789 to issue a proclamation from the new government under the Constitution after the lawmakers debated and passed a resolution introduced by Elias Boudinot of New Jersey in the House.

Link: Read The Full Proclamation

The resolution asked, “That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a Constitution of government for their safety and happiness.”

Five members of the First Congress, including Boudinot, approached Washington with the idea, and the President issued the proclamation (the second in presidential history) on October 3, 1789.

President Washington sent the Thanksgiving Proclamation to the states’ governors and asked for the leaders to make sure it was posted and published for all to see.

“I must request the favor of you to have published and made known in your State in the way and manner that shall be most agreeable to yourself,” he wrote.

The Thanksgiving Proclamation came two years before the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791, but its tone and message is remindful of the constitutional protections of liberty in all forms that the Founders had fought for and later enshrined in Philadelphia in 1787.

Washington said he wanted the people to be thankful “for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed.”

The proclamation also makes it clear that the Thanksgiving Day, in Washington’s opinion, should be a day of prayer, especially for lawmakers and government officials.

“We may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed,” Washington asked.

The President established “Thursday, the 26th day of November next” as the Thanksgiving Day. In subsequent years, several other Presidents issued proclamations infrequently.

It was President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 who issued the next major Thanksgiving Day proclamation, and every President since Lincoln has issued an annual proclamation.

“I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens,” Lincoln said.

from the National Constitution Center 


[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 11, 2014

Thank you, Veterans, for keeping us free!

from the US Department of Veterans' Affairs site:

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Monday Sep 01, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

  • Labor Day Stock Photo
  • Friday Jul 04, 2014

    Happy Birthday, USA!

  • Independence Day Shield Stock Photo
  • Sunday Jun 15, 2014

    Happy Father's Day!

  • Happy Fathers Day Present Shows Parenting Celebration Or Holiday Stock Photo
  • Saturday May 24, 2014

    Remembering Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice This Memorial Day...

    ...Thank You.

  • Memorial Day Indicates America Patriotism And Appointment Stock Photo
  • Saturday May 10, 2014

    Happy Mother's Day!

    mother's day photo: Mothers Day Flower Tennessee MothersDayFlowersTennessee11.jpg

    Some Mother's Day Figures:

    • In the United States, there are about 82.5 million mothers. (source: US Census Bureau)

    • about 96% of American consumers take part in some way in Mother's Day (source: Hallmark)

    • Mother's Day is widely reported as the peak day of the year for long distance telephone calls

    • There are more than 23,000 florists in the United States with a total of more than 125,000 employees. Colombia is the leading foreign supplier of cut flowers and fresh flower buds to the US. California produces two-thirds of domestic production of cut flowers. (source: US Census Bureau)

    • Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for many restaurants

    • Retailers report that Mother's Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest).

    • Most popular month for having babies in the US is August, and most popular weekday is Tuesday. (source: US Census Bureau)

    • about twice as many young women were childfree in the year 2000 as in the 1950s (source: Ralph Fevre, The Guardian, Manchester, March 26, 2001)

    • In the US, 82% of women ages 40-44 are mothers. This compares to 90% in 1976. (source: US Census Bureau)

    • In Utah and Alaska, women on the average will have three children before the end of their childbearing years. Overall, the average in the United States is two. (source: US Census Bureau)

    • In 2002, the 55% of American women with infant children were in the workforce, compared to 31% in 1976, and down from 59% in 1998. In 2002, there were 5.4 million stay-at-home mothers in the US. (source: US Census Bureau)

    source: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/mothersday/a/statistics.htm

    Saturday Mar 29, 2014

    Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

    easter passover photo: cross, calvary calvary1.jpg easter passover photo: passover/easter PassoverSeder.jpg

    Monday Mar 17, 2014

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    st. patrick's photo: St .Patricks greeting stpatgreetingwa31.jpg

    Tuesday Dec 31, 2013

    Happy New Year, America!

    new year photo: new year new-year.gif

    Wednesday Dec 25, 2013

    Merry Christmas to our USAb2c Family and Friends!

    Thursday Jul 04, 2013

    Happy Birthday USA!

     

    Saturday Jun 15, 2013

    Happy Father's Day!

    fathers day photo: happy fathers day FEET.jpg

    Some fun facts:

    Father's Day: June 16, 2013

    The idea of Father's Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father's Day celebration, June 17, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane's mayor because it was the month of Smart's birth. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Father's Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

    How Many Fathers?

    70.1 million

    Estimated number of fathers across the nation in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.
    Source: Unpublished data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation

    24.4 million

    Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2012.

    • 21 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18 (among married-couple family households only).
    • 3 percent were a subfamily living in someone else's home.

    Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements
    <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html> Tables FG1 and FG3

    1.96 million

    Number of single fathers in 2012; 16 percent of single parents were men.

    • Nine percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
    • About 44 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 20 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed.
    • 42 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.

    Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements
    <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html> Table FG6

    Thinking of You, Dad

    7,368

    The number of men's clothing stores around the country (as of 2010), a good place to buy dad a tie or shirt.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code (44811), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

    15,542

    The number of hardware stores (as of 2010), a place to buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father's Day gifts. Additionally, there were 6,764 home centers across the country in 2010.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS codes (444130) and (444110), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

    21,418

    Number of sporting goods stores in 2010. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code (451110), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

    79.1 million

    The number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in 2010. It's probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father's Day.
    Source: GFK Mediamark Research and Intelligence as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Table 1240.
    <http://www.gfkmri.com>
    <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab>

    source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb13-ff13.html

    Friday Jun 07, 2013

    Fun Day with a Proud History

    donut photo: Donut pink_sprinkled_donut.jpg

    HAPPY NATIONAL DONUT DAY!

    National Donut Day Fun Facts:

    The Salvation Army:

    • The Salvation Army started National Donut Day during the Great Depression as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to The Salvation Army's social service programs.
    • National Donut Day commemorates the "donut lassies," female Salvation Army volunteers who provided writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals, and of course, donuts, for soldiers on the front lines.
    • Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France starting in 1917 during WWI.
    • With limited resources, these treats were fried, only seven at a time. The Salvation Army's Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought of frying donuts in soldiers' helmets.
    • Last year, 30 million Americans received assistance from The Salvation Army's 3,600 officers, 64,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers.

    source: thesalvationarmyusa.org

    Wednesday Jul 04, 2012

    Happy Independence Day!

    independence day photo: Independence Day 2011 independence_day.jpg

    The Fourth of July Fun Facts 2012

    courtesy of http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff12.html

    On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

    2.5 million

    In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
    Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970<http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp/documents/HistoricalStatisticsoftheUnitedStates1789-1945.pdf>

    313.9 million

    The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
    Source: Population clock <http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html>

    Patriotic-Sounding Place Names

    Thirty-one places have “liberty” in their names. The most populous one as of April 1, 2010, was Liberty, Mo. (29,149). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

    Thirty-five places have “eagle” in their names. The most populous one is Eagle Pass, Texas, with a population of 26,248.

    Eleven places have “independence” in their names. The most populous one is Independence, Mo., with a population of 116,830.

    Nine places have “freedom” in their names. The most populous one is New Freedom, Pa., with a population of 4,464.

    One place has “patriot” in its name. Patriot, Ind., has a population of 209.

    Five places have “America” in their names. The most populous is American Fork, Utah, with a population of 26,263.

    Source: American FactFinder <http://www.census.gov>

    Fourth of July Cookouts

    Almost 1 in 3

    The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.7 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2012. This estimate represents almost one-third of the nation's estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
    Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, <http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/HogsPigs/HogsPigs-03-30-2012.pdf>

    7.2 billion pounds

    Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2011. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.0 billion pounds).
    Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/MeatAnimPr/MeatAnimPr-04-26-2012.pdf>

    6

    Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was estimated at $1 billion or greater between December 2010 and November 2011. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.
    Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service<http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/PoulProdVa/PoulProdVa-04-26-2012.pdf>

    Please Pass the Potato

    Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Approximately half of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2011.
    Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProdSu/CropProdSu-01-12-2012.pdf>

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