Thanksgiving 2021.  Yes, it is almost time to say those words to friends, family, and business associates.  Happy Thanksgiving!  It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?  However, it’s true.  It’s Turkey Time.

As we have during previous National Celebrations, E.R. Precision Optical interrupts our usual topics.  If you missed any of these fascinating recent subjects, you can still find them on our website.  They include:

Thanksgiving 2021: A Time To Smile.

Wow! Its Time For Turkey and Pumpkin Pie.

In honor of Thanksgiving 2021, we focus on what some would call a lighter topic.  This blog is dedicated to bringing you and your family a reminder of Thanksgiving’s meaning.  It is not just about a day. It’s about a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude.  And we’ve never had more reason to celebrate it than now.

For many months, the pandemic of COVID-19 dominated our lives. Therefore, it could seem difficult to develop an attitude of gratitude.  Additionally, many families are worried about the future economy, available necessities of life, and division in our political world.

Thus, we wish to turn our lenses on the lighter side of Thanksgiving. If this blog does nothing but provide some light-hearted Thanksgiving humor, it will have accomplished its purpose!

Thanksgiving 2021:  Family and Gratitude

First and foremost, Thanksgiving is about family and gratitude.  Despite all of the calamities and concerns mentioned above, we do have a great deal to be grateful for.

And there could not be a better time to express our heartfelt best wishes for a Happy 2021 Thanksgiving for our friends, our family, our friends, and acquaintances.

Here, at E.R. Optics, we include you our clients, staff, and blog readers… You are an important part of our family.

And now we invite you to read on to find some happy, mind-adjusting trivia for this great holiday.  Instead of worries, we hope you find smiles and enjoy these little nuggets of 2021 Thanksgiving knowledge.

Convict Turkeys and an Executive Pardon

Thanksgiving 2121: 2 Turkeys Are Pardoned This Year.

                                  Please! Pardon Me!

Peanut Butter and Jelly might be your child’s favorite treat.  However, Peanut Butter and Jelly are also the names of two convict turkeys.  And President Biden pardoned both for all their turkey crimes past and future.  This pardon took place on what could have been their day of execution.

A few days before our 2021 Thanksgiving Day, President Biden saved the life of a turkey.  In fact, this year, he saved two of them.  He conducted a ceremony known as “The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation.”

President Biden granted legally binding Presidential Pardons to 2 special turkeys.  His signature saved them from becoming Thanksgiving dinners. In effect, He canceled their execution dates.

You may think that a pardon for turkeys is a silly tradition.  However, did you ever wonder how it got started?

Believe It Or Not:  The Turkey Pardon Origin

President Abraham Lincoln’s son was reportedly responsible for the Presidential Turkey Pardon tradition.  It seems a live turkey was obtained for the Presidental Christmas Dinner.  However, Lincoln’s son, Tad, named the turkey Jack and made him a special pet.

When Christmas eve rolled around, Tad plead with his father to spare Jack.  And being an indulgent father, Lincoln agreed.  He even wrote a special pardon for Jack.

The Serious Side of Thanksgiving

We are all familiar with the tale of the original Thanksgiving celebration in 1621.  In fact, the pilgrim’s celebration still guides our concept of Thanksgiving and our special meals.

However, history records a more serious side to this holiday.

Our Thanksgiving took on a special meaning on November 19, 1863.  In the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln dedicated a cemetery for the men who died at Gettysburg.  Lincoln dedicated this cemetery to the 7,500 “brave men, living and dead, who struggled here.”

Additionally, President Lincoln declared a day of Thanksgiving to be “observed the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Presidential quote on Thanksgiving

On Sept. 15, 1983, President Ronald Regan reminded us of the first National Thanksgiving.

 President Ronald Regan stated,  “A short time after the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield, “the United States celebrated its first national Thanksgiving. Every year since then, our Nation has faithfully continued this tradition. The time has come once again to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, an occasion for Americans to express gratitude to their God and their country.”


On September 28, 1789, the first Federal Congress passed a Thanksgiving resolution.  The resolution asked that the President of the United States recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving.

A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin.”  The first National Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution.

More Fun Facts from The First Thanksgiving Dinner

What do you think was on the menu for the very first special Thanksgiving Feast?  We now reveal the truth behind the menu. Dinner on that First Thanksgiving feast might have been extremely different from our modern concept of Thanksgiving dinner.

Here are the facts:

  • The Pilgrim historical chronicler, Edward Winslow, wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four of his men “on a fowling mission in preparation for the event…”  (Of course, we know that those fowl were wild turkeys.)
  • Likewise, we know that the Wampanoag guests brought five deer to the party.

First Thanksgiving:  No Pies or Cakes For Pilgrims

E.R. Precision Optical Wishes For All: Happy Thanksgiving.

We cannot imagine not having pies and cakes for Thanksgiving Dinner Desserts.  However, historical experts tell us that the Pilgrims did not have ovens!  Likewise, they had very little sugar.  You know what that means; it was highly unlikely there were pies, cakes, or pastries.

That is sort of a horrifying thought for modern celebrants of Thanksgiving.  You see, today we almost take these sweet treats for granted.

Take heart, however, because historians have discovered that the Pilgrims had the common spices associated with those recipes.

Therefore we can speculate that they incorporated cinnamon, cloves, and other spices into some type of recipe. This might have been the origin of stuffing, or bread pudding, but not pies and cakes.

Is cranberry sauce part of your favorite Thanksgiving delight?  For the first thanksgiving,  the cranberry tradition was very different than in our 2021 Thanksgiving.

You see, the Wampanoag Indians did not eat them, but they used them to make a decorative dye. Think how surprised they’d be to see us eating what they used for art supplies.

Our  2021 Thanksgiving Wishes Through the Lens of Gratitude

E.R. Precision Optical thinks this is probably one witty government decision that everyone in the USA can celebrate.  We hope you have enjoyed these above little Thanksgiving fun facts.

And now we wish you happiness, health, and prosperity during this Thanksgiving Holiday 2021.  And we declare that gratitude is our attitude not only for the remainder of 2021 but to continue onward into 2022.