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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
November and December of 1859
From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, December 8, 1859.
The great mass of our citizens, it is to be presumed, will join in the observation of to-day, as the annual Thanksgiving occasion designated by the Executive of the State. We do not suppose that the motives of the Governor in refusing to appoint the day observed in common by twenty-seven States of the confederacy, will prevent a hearty co-operation in the usual services of the day by all who are accustomed to join in such devotional and festal exercises. All prejudices should be sunk in oblivion. The prosperity of our city and State as a community and a people should awaken the gratitude of Jew and Gentile alike. There is much to be thankful for-universal progress, personal welfare as individuals, freedom from intestine war and foreign invasion, and rapid advances in the arts and sciences-these should swell the heart of every Missourian with pride. The day will be generally observed, beyond question. The courts have adjourned, the banks and public offices will be closed, and business will be mainly suspended. Most of our churches will be open for Divine service, and there will be no lack of opportunity to celebrate the occasion to the fullest extent.
Socially, the customary good dinners and family reunions, as far as practicable, will not be forgotten. The holiday given to employees in all departments of business will enliven the amusements of Thanksgiving considerably, and the breathing spell to all our institutions will be of great benefit. The custom springs from a good olden time, when pure men and patriots planted seeds of religion and righteousness, that the present generation have, in some degree, rooted up; but we hope for better times.
Some of the earliest and dearest memories of many of our citizens are associated with this day, and we trust that all will esteem it a fitting occasion for the outpouring of heartfelt gratitude for the blessings we enjoy, whether outspoken in the solemn forms of the church ritual, or felt within the warmer recesses of the heart, whence pure love and praise so often emanate in silence. Let not the poor and needy be forgotten. The charity of to-day will bestowed will be a nobler thanksgiving in the sight of the Ruler of all men, than the outward show of thousands whose souls are cold to suffering creatures around them. Give freely and discreetly, and many hearts will return thanks this night that ye who gave may always have abundant store, and, as next Thanksgiving returns, a proud consciousness of having done some moiety of good will enhance the household joys, and give a rarer zest to the feast.
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