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.
Yosemite land grant:
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