Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fourth Thursday of November

Thanksgiving USA

The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago.

In 1620, a boat filled with more than one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it. The Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops, and without fresh food, half the colony died from disease. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish.

In the autumn of 1621, bountiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Indian chief and 90 Indians. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians. To this first Thanksgiving, the Indians had even brought popcorn.

In following years, many of the original colonists celebrated the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States became an independent country, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole nation to celebrate. George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Then in 1863, at the end of a long and bloody civil war, Abraham Lincoln asked all Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, a different date every year. The President must proclaim that date as the official celebration.

In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt set it one week earlier. He wanted to help business by lengthening the shopping period before christmas. Congress ruled that after 1941 the 4th Thursday in November would be a federal holiday proclaimed by the President each year.

For "Symbols of Thanksgiving" and more info:

Monday, November 24, 2008

A man sleeping in a Mexican airport for three months

Listen to this surprising story (I think we also had a similar case in Barajas Airport, Spain) and try to give some reasons why this men could be sleeping in an airport for so long? Do you think he could have any family? Money? Crazy? On the other hand, could be somebody left out from an airport in these conditions? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yesterday, Nov 11th. Poppy Day?

Find Out Why People Wear Poppies In November...

You might have noticed that in November each year many people wear bright red paper poppies.
What are the poppies for?
And why November? Read on to find out…
Why are these poppies so special?

The First World War finally ended after four long and bloody years of fighting, on November 11 1918. The guns stopped on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Millions of people were killed in the war and millions more were injured. In the years since 1918, even more people have died in wars around the world including, of course, World War Two.

November 11 was chosen back in 1919 as the special day each year when we would all think about and remember those who had died. To this day, almost 100 years later, at 11am on November 11 many people across Britain stay silent for two minutes to think about those who died.

The picture shows the two minute silence taking place high up on the London Eye.

All pictures:Courtesy of The Royal British Legion.

At first, November 11 was known as Armistice Day because 'armistice' is the word used for an agreement between enemies to stop fighting. These days it is more usually called Remembrance Day or Poppy Day.

So, we know why November 11 is special, but why poppies? The story begins back in 1915, during World War One…

These poppies are growing wild at Gallipoli, scene of an awful battle in 1915.

Keep on reading: