There is a small piece of Michigan history I just stumbled upon which kind of blows my mind a little. It turns out the state of Michigan hasn't even been celebrating Thanksgiving for 200 years yet, but we are close. The first reported official celebration of the holiday was back in 1824, so we've only been celebrating it 197 years Even though we officially became a state in 1837, 13 years after the first celebration, the holiday itself has been celebrated in other areas of the country as for back as the 1600's, according to Bill Loomis:
While Thanksgiving Day has been around in New England for close to 400 years, early French Detroiters never heard of the celebration, or at least didn’t observe it. (Fortunately, Detroit did have Christmas, which the Puritans rejected.) The earliest official declaration for Thanksgiving in Detroit was set forth by Territorial Gov. Lewis Cass on November 25, 1824. He was originally from New Hampshire and as more and more New Englanders emigrated to Detroit and Michigan, he felt it was time to bring Thanksgiving to Detroit.
The tradition has changed a lot in that time, and many people who have Native American heritage despise the holiday and refuse to acknowledge it, while others choose the embrace it as a way for family to reunite for the weekend and prepare for the holidays. Michigan has always held the holiday as one of the more special ones, even more so since the establishment of America's Thanksgiving Parade, which is of course the annual parade held in downtown Detroit each Thanksgiving Day from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
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