It began when Abraham Lincoln declared that in gratitude for the Union Army’s victory at Gettysburg, the fourth Thursday in November would henceforth be a national day of Thanksgiving. We would come to add the familiar stories and imagery of pilgrims and native Americans, the tradition of a harvest feast, but the celebration’s purpose from the start was in its name.
Wednesday on Central Standard, host Brian Ellison explores the purpose of Thanksgiving—not the holiday so much as the act. It turns out gratitude is good for you. We hear from a psychology professor why being thankful and expressing that thanks makes even our own lives better. We hear letters to the editor of the Kansas City Star expressing gratitude. Then we give you a chance to do it: Who in your life do you need to thank? You can post it on KCUR’s Facebook page. We invite you to be thankful with us.