Giving Thanks for these landscapes

Today in the United States is the Thanksgiving Holiday, a holiday that developed as a way to give thanks for a productive year and celebrate the yearly harvest. It became an officially recognized holiday when proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War in 1863.

A lot of things happened during the Civil War other than fighting the war itself. Today, I’ve gathered up a handful of photographs to acknowledge a different one of those. Less than a year after the first presidentially-proclaimed Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Congress took time out from fighting the war to grant a pair of land tracts in the far west to the State of California for management and preservation. This act of Congress was the first time such an act ever happened in the United States – land set aside by Congress specifically for the public.

I believe that concept is one to be very thankful for – over the subsequent decades; it gave rise to the idea of national parks that have since proliferated around the globe.

One of those two tracts of land granted by Congress to California is pictured here. This is the Yosemite Valley as it appeared on Thanksgiving, 2006, at sundown – part of my theme for the day, National Parks on Thanksgiving.


Image credit:

Yosemite land grant:

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"We’ve got to make sure that women control their own health care choices. Not their boss, or their insurer, and certainly not any politician. It’s funny, if you ask a Republican in Congress if they believe in climate change, they say, well, uh, I’m not a scientist. “I’m not a scientist” - that’s what they say. But when it comes to a woman’s right to choose, suddenly they’re a doctor."

- President Obama (11.1.14)


November 12 2014 - A crowd of about 500 protesters set ablaze the state congress building in the Mexican state of Guerrero in a violent rally over the massacre of 43 college students.

Students and teachers stormed the Guerrero state legislature in the city of Chilpancingo on Wednesday and set fire to the library and chamber. Both areas were empty during the break-in.

Mexico has been facing violent rallies since local authorities revealed that the 43 students were handed over by corrupt police to the Guerros Unidos gang, members of which confessed to murdering them and burning their bodies.