5 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving

At a very young age in school, students learn about how Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims and Native Americans. There are so many details to the history of Thanksgiving though, so students simply can’t learn everything about the American holiday. For this reason, there are many facts and details about the holiday that most people don’t know even though they celebrate every year.

First, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to change the date of Thanksgiving in 1938, which he declared should be celebrated a week earlier. Roosevelt suggested moving the date hoping to spur retail sales during The Great Depression, but his idea failed after two years of opposition, so the official date became the fourth Thursday of every November. Also, Magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, who’s  responsible for writing the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb", was also responsible for recognizing Thanksgiving as a holiday. After a 17-year-letter-writing campaign, she finally convinced Abraham Lincoln to recognize Thanksgiving. Some historians also believe that Lincoln was the first president to pardon a turkey with his son’s pet turkey, but other experts believe President Truman was the first to pardon in 1947. Now, every Thanksgiving, the President of the United States pardons one lucky turkey.

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After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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