History of Thanksgiving In Indiana

Thanksgiving is considered an American holiday.  Just the word Thanksgiving brings to mind images of turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie, family, football, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag,  the founders of the holiday.

In 1817, New York became the very first state to officially declare the Thanksgiving holiday, a day to give thanks for the harvest and the prosperity of our new nation.  The practice of celebrating Thanksgiving quickly spread through the midwestern and northern states with each state holding its own celebration on a different day.  Thanksgiving in Indiana began in 1837 when then Governor Noah Noble proclaimed December 7th as the state’s first Thanksgiving Day.  All the stores were closed and Indianapolis was in great harmony.  In the evening, a benefit for the poor was held at the city’s Methodist Episcopal church in which all the churches joined.  The day was judged “a happy day.”  By 1857, Indiana had begun to celebrate the holiday on the same Thursday every November and in 1863 joined the northern states in celebrating a national Thanksgiving Day declared by President Abraham Lincoln.

The month of November holds another national holiday.  National Indian Pudding Day is a day to celebrate and enjoy puddings created by the Native American Indians and is celebrated each year on November 13.  To celebrate this day in November before Thanksgiving is appropriate as the Native American Indians were a part of our first feast.  Indian puddings are a number of recipes of native American Indian origin.  They may include molasses, cornmeal and dried fruits as ingredients and are usually baked.

The Library invites you to join us at the Local History Library @ The Depot on Tuesday, November 13 to celebrate with us National Indian Pudding Day.  We will have pudding to sample while supplies last and recipes to take home with you.  Who knows…..Indian Pudding just may be part of your Thanksgiving feast this year.

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