The Art of Giving Thanks

November 28, 2014 · Collections ·

Thanksgiving Greeting Card, undatedLooking back on the history of Thanksgiving in Connecticut, I discovered that there were many sermons, festivals and addresses performed in honor of the occasion. Perhaps this is not a trait unique to the Nutmeg State, but this recurring theme seemed attention-worthy.

Thanksgiving at Mrs. Ellen H. Gilmans, 149 Lafayette Street, Hartford, 1905.

In the 1953 sermon “The Habit of Thanksgiving”, giving thanks was considered “a religious matter…born of humility and reverence”, and something that would bring joy and happiness, confidence and humility. Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman provides examples of those we should thank, including “to all who serve us and serve with us”

Thanksgiving display at Danbury Fair, 1953. Photograph by Clarence F. Korker.

Thirty-five years prior, the close of World War I in 1918 epitomized the meaning of thankfulness, as Reverend Edwin Pond Parker addressed the community at Hartford Public High School. His emphasis on the nation’s victory – and the grace of God – echoed the sentiments of “relief, joy and gratitude” for war’s end. He proclaimed this victory as the “destruction of tyranny” and a testament to moral law.

Thanksgiving continues to be commemorated and celebrated in many different ways. How will you celebrate this year?

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