Today In History Spotlights Nov. 25, 1863, Thanksgiving

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Two US Presidents are most responsible for the celebration of Thanksgiving as we know it: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. On October 3, 1789, Washington issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation. He declared November 26 of that year a day of Thanksgiving, stating, “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November, next to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

On October 3, 1863, 74 years after Washington’s proclamation, President Lincoln issued a proclamation that Thanksgiving was to be celebrated on the last Thursday of that November. Lincoln stated, “The glorious gifts of the Most High God…should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.” With glory to God, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!

What Happened On This Day – November 25

  • 1973 Military coup in Greece. President George Papadopoulos was ousted by the army, just a week after student-led protests at the Athens Polytechnic were violently put down by the government.
  • 1960 Assassination of the Mirabal Sisters. The 3 Dominican sisters, Patria, Minerva, Antonia Mirabal, were activists that were opposed to the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. On this day, they were brutally killed and their deaths staged to look like accidents. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
  • 1952 Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opens at London’s West End. The longest running show in history, the play began as a radio play called Three Blind Mice. It is based on the death of Dennis O’Neill, who died while in foster care.
  • 1950 “Storm of the century” hits eastern US. Also known as the Appalachian Storm, the storm reached blizzard conditions and dumped nearly 60 inches of snow in the Appalachian area. It brought unseasonal temperatures to the region and caused widespread damage to property. About 150 people were thought to have been killed as a result of it.
  • 1936 Nazi Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. The treaty was directed towards the Soviet Union and stipulated that in case of Soviet aggression towards either country, the other would consider it as an act of aggression towards it as well. The pact was later signed by other countries including Italy, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.

Births On This Day – November 25

  • 1952 Imran Khan – Pakistani cricketer, politician
  • 1915 Augusto Pinochet – Chilean general, politician, 30th President of Chile
  • 1914 Joe DiMaggio – American baseball player
  • 1844 Karl Benz – German engineer, businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz
  • 1835 Andrew Carnegie – Scottish/American businessman, founded the Carnegie Steel Company

Deaths On This Day – November 25

  • 2005 George Best – Irish/English footballer
  • 1997 Hastings Banda – Malawian politician, 1st President of Malawi
  • 1974 U Thant – Burmese diplomat, 3rd United Nations Secretary General
  • 1974 Nick Drake – English singer-songwriter, musician
  • 1944 Kenesaw Mountain Landis – American judge

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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