[Pictured above: Norman Rockwell's "Freedom from Want" -- depicting a traditional American Thanksgiving Day Feast -- a tradition enjoyed by Welsh-American Families for many generations.]
There's been a Welsh-American connection, ever since large groups of Welsh settlers, seeking economic, religious and political freedom began to join the colony of William Penn in Pennsylvania in the year 1681.
The First Thanksgiving Day Observance:
A Proclamation Signed in Script Type by George Washington in 1789:
"It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
In the midst of civil war, President Lincoln thought the day should be used to "fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
Our Welsh-American brethren in Idaho have given us this important speech about the Welsh contribution to the making of America:
Hon. Thomas M. Rees of California
speaking in the House of Representatives
on Wednesday, February 17, 1971
Mr. Rees, Mr. Speaker, the birth of St. David, the Welsh patron saint, will be commemorated on March 1 by Welsh Americans throughout America-- nothing like the St. Patrick gatherings, though St. Patrick was born in Wales and grew up speaking Welsh, not Latin.
Very little has been written of what the Welsh have contributed in all walks of life in the shaping of American history.
Twenty percent of the Pilgrim Fathers were Welsh, as was the Captain of the Mayflower.
How many know that almost 50 percent of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence were Welsh or of Welsh descent-- as were nine of the Presidents of the United States-- and that many of the universities and colleges such as Yale, Princeton, Brown, William and Mary, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, and Andover were founded by Welshman.
The man who financed the War of Independence was Robert Morris, Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, and Rhode Island by Roger Williams, all were Welsh.
It is strange indeed that such a small country-- as Wales, so many people are hardly aware of its existence-- has contributed so much more in proportion to its size than any other nation, and stranger still so little has been written of it.
Oh, yes, the next time you are in the Capitol and feel like climbing the Washington Monument stairway, about halfway up there is a stone inscribed:
"FY IAITH, FY NGWLAD, FY NGHENEDL CYMRU - CYMRU AM BYTH!"
["My language, my land, my nation of Wales - Wales for ever!"]
Thomas Jefferson would have placed it where more people would see it for he was very proud of his Welsh origin.
It would take many pages to name the great Welsh Americans since the Founding Fathers, who have helped build America-- In government, industry, labor, finance, law, architecture, music, religion, literature.
Yes, the Welsh in America can be very proud of their heritage.
Isn't it time for you to dig out your phone card and call your long lost friends and family in America, to wish them a safe, joyous, and prosperous
HAPPY THANSGIVING DAY 2007!!!
Click here to go directly to the Idaho Welsh Society on the World Wide Web.At Welsh American Family Genealogy, we believe there’s no better ‘Empty Nest’ activity than researching your Welsh family history and creating a legacy for future generations. You don’t have to be rich to leave behind an enduring heritage for your children and heirs.
What’s important is that you use the time wisely. If you would like to simulate your mind each day and stay young through constructive activities, than genealogy might be right for you!
Write to us and tell us your questions. We might not know the exact answer, but think of this as a daily adventure – thousands of other online readers will ‘pick their brains’ to help you!
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