It’s our day to give thanks. So let’s review the history of our modern Thanksgiving and then I’ll discuss what I’m thankful for. Let’s dig in.
The History of Our Modern Thanksgiving
To read about the actual history of the pilgrims, read this post.
In 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first American Thanksgiving holiday following the victory at Saratoga. Why was this a big deal? It was the first major victory of the revolutionary war and it helped convince France that this ragtag collection of former British colonies had a shot at beating their arch-enemy, the British. Hence, they finally agreed to support the Americans.
In 1789, President George Washington became the first president to formally recognize a Thanksgiving holiday. He proclaimed November 26, a Thursday, as the date for this celebration. However, it was not until 1863, when Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to officially fall on the last Thursday in November when our national tradition was finally birthed. Every president after Lincoln went along with that date until FDR.
With the depression in full swing, retailers convinced FDR to change the date to a week earlier to provide an additional week to bolster weak Christmas sales. This was covered by the papers at the time, with the AP stating that he justified his decision with “there was nothing sacred about the date.” For the next two years, Roosevelt kept the earlier date, then in 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially declaring the fourth Thursday in November the date for Thanksgiving Day.
The term Black Friday first appeared in the 1975 New York Times to refer to “the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year”. The phrase gained national attention in the early 1980s when merchants clarified that the term referred to finances. Most stores traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year and made their first annual profit during the holiday season. Their accountants would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Hence “Black Friday”, was the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer be “in the red”.
What I’m Thankful For
What I do every day requires a small army of people supporting me.
In the office, I have a hard-working assistant who keeps all of the balls I’m juggling in the air. I have an office staff that makes sure patients get scheduled and records are obtained. There are staff that check-in patients and rad techs that make sure my fluoroscopy images are picture-perfect every time. There’s a marketing team that makes sure the clinic stays out in front of the hearts and minds of physicians and patients. I have an office manager who keeps me from making the bad financial decisions that doctors are famous for making.
Online, there is also a small army that supports me. We have a social media manager, a support staff that helps with the Facebook live, marketing, and website experts.
Then we have the research I’m able to pump out on a consistent basis. That team includes a Ph.D. Chief Science Officer, a Ph.D. clinical research coordinator, fellows, a biostatistician, and lab experts. That also includes recently minted attending physicians who used to be former fellows finishing up their research projects.
There is also a team of people in corporate who help companies realize that we can save them money and improve options for their employees. There’s also a smart and energetic executive team that makes sure Regenexx keeps growing.
Then there’s my fantastic wife and best friend, who runs the home front and helps me with the Colorado office. I have three wonderful kids and we have all been blessed with good health and minds. Also, great friends who support me in my dreams.
The upshot, while a little history is always interesting, the day is about giving thanks. So thank you to everyone who works hard to make me look great. What I do is not a solitary effort, but something supported by teams of hardworking people.