President Obama and Thanksgiving 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Luke Sharrett/The New York Times Courage made an appearance at the White House on Wednesday.


  • HNN Hot Topics: Thanksgiving: HNN
  • Obama Saves ‘Courage’: “Thanks to the interventions of Malia and Sasha — because I was planning to eat this sucker — Courage will also be spared this terrible and delicious fate,” Mr. Obama said at a White House ceremony on Wednesday-. NYT, 11-25-09
  • Obama pardons ‘Courage,’ the Thanksgiving turkey: For Barack Obama, some days are filled with reminders as to why he ran for the presidency. There are intense discussions about national security, efforts to win votes on health care, and, at night, glamorous entertainment – like last night’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
    And then there are days like today, when a rueful Obama, performing one of the least dignified of presidential rituals, proclaimed: “I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland.”
    This year’s annual presidential pardon for a Thanksgiving turkey went off without a hitch. No flyabouts, as occurred under President Reagan. (That would be the turkey flying about, not some rogue White House aide.)… – CS Monitor, 11-25-09

The Official Pardoning of the Turkey

  • Obama family distributes Thanksgiving treats: The Obama family passed out turkeys, stuffing and other Thanksgiving favorites to people at a food pantry organization. President Barack Obama tucked pumpkin pies into people’s bags at Martha’s Table in downtown Washington on Wednesday evening and wished them a happy holiday. Obama’s two daughters, first lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, worked alongside the president, putting canned food, stuffing, and fresh vegetables into bags. Those in line also received frozen turkeys. – AP, 11-25-09
  • Thanksgiving wishes from Lincoln, Truman, Reagan and — now — Obama: On Thanksgiving, our most home-grown of holidays, we at The Ticket would like to offer you a helping of history along with that turkey.
    We call it the Ghost of Thanksgiving Past. It’s a collection of some of the more interesting presidential proclamations relating to the holiday…. – LAT, 11-25-09
  • Obama’s Thanksgiving proclamation: What began as a harvest celebration between European settlers and indigenous communities nearly four centuries ago has become our cherished tradition of Thanksgiving. This day’s roots are intertwined with those of our nation, and its history traces the American narrative.
    Today, we recall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed “by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God,” and President Abraham Lincoln, who established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured nation in the midst of civil war. We also recognize the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our nation. From our earliest days of independence, and in times of tragedy and triumph, Americans have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
    As Americans, we hail from every part of the world. While we observe traditions from every culture, Thanksgiving Day is a unique national tradition we all share. Its spirit binds us together as one people, each of us thankful for our common blessings.
    As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. This is a time for us to renew our bonds with one another, and we can fulfill that commitment by serving our communities and our nation throughout the year. In doing so, we pay tribute to our country’s men and women in uniform who set an example of service that inspires us all. Let us be guided by the legacy of those who have fought for the freedoms for which we give thanks, and be worthy heirs to the noble tradition of goodwill shown on this day.
    Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together, whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place where family, friends and neighbors may gather, with gratitude for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own and to share our bounty with others.
    In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of November, in the year of our Lord 2009, and of the independence of the United States of America the 234th (year).
    AP, 11-25-09


  1. Thanksgiving-2009

    November 26, 2009 by


    We are far removed from the days of Native Americans celebrating harvest festivals. It has also been hundreds of years since the English colonists celebrated thanksgiving as part of their religion or giving thanks to Native Americans. In 2009, we still celebrate the day even though some Americans are more thankful than others.

    American banks, who have received the biggest chunk of the $787 billion stimulus money, have been well greased and highly stimulated. They should be very thankful to their government who had made it possible for them to prosper more, and continue to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots in to a higher level.

    To millions of average Americans this Thanksgiving Day is a day of unemployment, lack of insurance coverage, inability to pay mortgages and a day of stress like any other. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in October. That is an increase of 558,000 persons out of work. Bringing the” official” unemployment total number to 15.7 million Americans. What a dazzling result of the stimulus package. Really. What a recovery.

    On this Thanksgiving Day, could the White House tell us who the genius is that came up with “jobs saved or created” nonsense? It is easy to philosophize in the comfort of the White House, and come up with totally unverifiable numbers that do not stand simple scrutiny. What a joke. The reality is to be on line for hours looking for non-existing jobs. Reality is to lose a job. The reality is to be unable to pay your bills.

    Let’s hope, next year’s Thanksgiving will be a real “Thanksgiving” to those who are unable to make ends meet.

    Professor Mekonen Haddis

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