Give Thanks for Downtown: How Lower Manhattan Shaped the Story of Thanksgiving

11/22/2023 in
Give Thanks for Downtown: How Lower Manhattan Shaped the Story of Thanksgiving

Did you know that the very first proclamation of Thanksgiving happened right here in Lower Manhattan? 

Prior to the establishment of Washington, D.C., Lower Manhattan served as the nation’s capital, and on November 26, 1789, President George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving from the seat of the new government at Federal Hall. The connection between the neighborhood and the tradition of giving thanks goes back even further and even predates the Pilgrims; the first crew of European colonizers landed on the island eight years before the Mayflower and had to rely on the help of local Native American tribes to survive a harsh winter, i.e. the very circumstances we now associate with the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In the centuries since, it’s gotten a little easier to survive cold seasons in Lower Manhattan, thanks in large part to the many workers who keep our neighborhood running — even on major holidays. Whether you are traveling far or near, or just plan to deck out the Thanksgiving table at home, take a moment to thank all the workers who keep our neighborhood clean, safe and inviting this holiday season. That goes double if you’re spending Thanksgiving at any of the many Lower Manhattan restaurants cooking up a holiday feast this year. These businesses are working hard to ensure you’re taken care of on Turkey Day, so please take care of them as well. 

We’re always thankful for all the businesses that make our district so special, in addition to the residents who fill it with joy and the visitors who remind us we play an important role in the city —  and in this nation’s history.

Tags: thanksgiving

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