News / USA

    Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

    Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
    Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
    VOA News
    Americans are marking the annual Thanksgiving Day holiday Thursday with meals, family visits and bargain shopping.

    The holiday is a time for giving thanks, often at family gatherings with feasts that center on turkeys with an array of traditional side dishes and desserts.

    Americans across the nation also gather for religious services, watch professional football games, and volunteer at food banks and other charities to mark the occasion.

    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade routeMacy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route
    x
    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route
    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route
    In New York, Snoopy and the rest of the iconic, giant balloons soared during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Police gave the all clear Thursday morning, calming fears that heavy wind forecasts would ground the helium-filled entertainment.

    In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama gave thanks for the men and women serving in the military.  

    "We give thanks for the freedoms they defend - the freedom to think what we want and say what we think, to worship according to our own beliefs, to choose our leaders and, yes, criticize them without punishment, said Obama. "People around the world are fighting and even dying for their chance at these freedoms.  We stand with them in that struggle, and we give thanks for being free."  

    On the day before Thanksgiving, President Obama and his family continued an annual tradition of volunteering at a Washington food bank to prepare food for needy families.  He also pardoned two turkeys, named Popcorn and Caramel, in an annual presidential tradition to spare the birds ahead of the holiday.  

    Massive annual sales across the country mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season.  In recent years, the sales at retail stores have started earlier and earlier.  This year, several major retailers opened early Thanksgiving Day with special deals for the first shoppers, many of whom camped out in line for hours.

    • Spectators dressed as turkeys stand behind police barricades as they wait for the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
    • A Spider-man balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Sandra Lemaire/VOA)
    • A balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Sandra Lemaire/VOA)
    • Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
    • President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving the national turkey, Popcorn, from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House, Nov. 27, 2013.
    • President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama participate in a Thanksgiving service project by handing out food at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, Nov. 27, 2013.
    • Olivia Rios, who is currently unemployed, eats an early Thanksgiving meal served to the homeless and others at Los Angeles Mission on skid row, Nov. 27, 2013.
    • Travelers and commuters walk through Grand Central Station in New York, Nov. 27, 2013. 
    • Chynnah Clasberry prepares to board a Megabus in Chicago, Illinois for a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, Nov. 26, 2013.
    • Motorists drive north in the rain on Interstate 270 out of Washington ahead of Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 2013.
    • Tina Corpus and her daughter, Christina, shop for turkey in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 26, 2013.
    • U.S. Army Sgt. Angelica Ciriaco makes her way home at the Miami International Airport after serving 10 months in Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2013.

    And at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan and around the world, soldiers were treated to traditional Thanksgiving meals served by their commanders to mark the holiday.  

    Tradition says the first American Thanksgiving occurred in 1621, when early North American settlers gave thanks for their harvest after a harsh winter.

    More than a century later, the nation's first president, George Washington, issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: carluchidisieno@gmail.com from: Kiev
    November 29, 2013 3:52 PM
    Thanksgiving is stupid and makes no sense unless, of course you think killing a turkey and stuffing bread and vegetables up his rectum is something special? I am sure if ask a turkey their thoughts of Thanksgiving Day they too would say is very stupid holiday. Then let’s consider the Indians and what they think? Though, we aren't talking about killing them later to feed Americans like turkeys, but we must not forget what price they all paid for this Thanksgiving Day tradition. Factually speaking, when the Pilgrims came to America they didn’t know how to survive the Indians helped the Pilgrims grow food taught them how to live. However, later after Pilgrims had no further use for the Indians they killed them so what kind of holiday is this? Personally, think we should get rid of this holiday. The money spent on Thanksgiving food should be donated to schools on reservations and any other Native American cause. The true history of Thanksgiving is much blacker and bloodier and is only remembered by Native Americans and very few others. But one thing for sure, when considering the American white people killed off Indian civilization there is very little cause for the Indians to celebrate anything.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    November 28, 2013 8:20 PM
    Yes, let us say thanks everybody and every lives for everything offered to us! We could not live lives lonely even for a moment. We are born to this earth to find out beloved ones as many as possible. Thanks giving must be a key to solve any kinds of conflicts.Thank you.
    In Response

    by: Cranksy from: USA
    November 29, 2013 4:36 PM
    Hi Yoshi, I am glad you value the personality trait of gratefulness or the virtue of gratitude. Do you think when a person says "I love you" what they are really saying is "thank you"?

    by: Cranksy from: USA
    November 28, 2013 1:22 PM
    I suggest that it becomes a custom around Thanksgiving Day to explicitly thank someone who has done you a favor during the previous year. Thank you, Judith Arnold.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora