The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 15, 2013

A Civil War Thanksgiving Program to be presented Nov. 21


The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — Civil War reenactors Barry and Faye Stocker, of Klingerstown, will be the featured speakers at the Nov. 21 meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society, at the Hunter House, 1150 N. Front St., Sunbury, which begins at 7 p.m. The Stockers will present “A Civil War Thanksgiving” which details the history of Thanksgiving and how it became a national holiday during the midst of the Civil War in 1863 thanks to the efforts of President Lincoln.  

The editor of Godey’s Ladies Book, Sarah Hale, solicited President Abraham Lincoln’s support in making the last Thursday of November the day that Thanksgiving would be observed across the nation. She felt strongly that it was important to make this designation at a time when the country was divided in its views on slavery. Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday in the United States until the fall of 1863, when President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring that the last Thursday in November would be a day of national thanksgiving. Prior to that, each state was permitted to choose the date that it would celebrate Thanksgiving.  

The program is open to the public and free of charge. It will be the last public program for 2013. Programs will resume on March 20, when John Moore will present a program on the construction of Fort Augusta and the fort’s first several years of activity. A reception will follow the Stockers’ presentation. For more information, call (570) 286-4083.