A Thanksgiving reader

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The Wall Street Journal's Thanksgiving tradition, since 1961:

The Desolate Wilderness: The New World in the words of the Pilgrims' historian

And the Fair Land: A modern reflection on America's prosperity and challenges.

Plus this story on Franklin Roosevelt's short-lived attempt (1939-1941) to move the date of Thanksgiving one week earlier to encourage more retail sales for Christmas.

And from last year in the Muskogee Phoenix, Brandon Dutcher gives thanks for private property rights as the foundation for American prosperity:

In his 1994 book "The Theme Is Freedom," M. Stanton Evans explained that "in both Virginia and Plymouth, for slightly different reasons, initial arrangements with the sponsoring London merchants prevented the colonists from owning and reaping the benefits of private property. Predictably enough, the communal set-up proved disastrous in terms of incentives and resulting output, so that both infant states were threatened with starvation. The upshot in both cases was that the settlers converted as soon as they were able to a system of private ownership, and reward for private effort."

"Never again were the Pilgrims short of food," adds Kirk. "Thereafter, despite a harsh climate, poor communication with Britain, troubles with the Indians, pirates who took their cargoes, and other handicaps, the Pilgrims' economy began to prosper."

The lesson was not lost on Governor Bradford. He wrote: "The failure of this experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times - that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God."

And finally, a reminder to be thankful for our troops who have returned home and to pray for those still deployed in the War on Terror:


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 26, 2009 12:20 AM.

Anne Marie Dutcher at rest was the previous entry in this blog.

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