Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Information compiled and written by Miles Martin
Harvesting is the gathering of crops, which takes place when crops reach the height of their quality and maturity. In the mid-19th century Texas, this typically occurred in September and October. A successful harvest was essential in ensuring farmers had enough food to last through the winter. Although advancements had been made in farming equipment, rural 19th century Texas farmers were unable to acquire them due to the lack of railroads. Texas farmers had no other choice but to harvest crops by hand, meaning longer hours in the fields.
The completion of a successful harvest often meant an abundance of food and a temporary break from field work. Harvest festivals were celebrated by family, friends, and communities to give thanks for bountiful crops. Harvest festivals are celebrated throughout the world and in the United States. The most famous Harvest festival celebrated in the United States is Thanksgiving.
Did you know? The first official Thanksgiving Day holiday was proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863. In 1941, FDR signed a bill which fixed Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November.