Here is a story that has become part of our family Thanksgiving tradition. My father was a printer, and at Thanksgiving he would distribute hundreds of copies of this story on burnt orange paper. At home by each Thanksgiving Dinner plate were five grains of corn, and this was read before dinner:
THANKSGIVING is distinctly an American holiday; there is nothing like it elsewhere in the world. It celebrates neither a savage battle nor the fall of a great city. It does not mark the anniversary of a great conqueror or the birthday of a famous statesman. It does not commemorate the writing of a historic public document or the launching of a new constitution. The American Thanksgiving Day is the expression of a deep feeling of gratitude by our people for the rich productivity of the land, a memorial of the dangers and hardships through which we have safely passed, and a fitting recognition of all that God in His goodness has bestowed upon us.
In early New England it was the custom at Thanksgiving time to place five grains of corn at every plate as a reminder of those stern days in the first winter when the food of the Pilgrims was so depleted that only five grains of corn were rationed to each individual at a time
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Thanks to my friend Karen L Johnson for this inspiring story.