Thankful For The Web

[ Posted Thursday, November 26th, 2009 – 12:27 UTC ]

Because yesterday's column was a wee bit un-holiday-spirit-ish, I offer up my thanks today. I am thankful for the web. I am thankful that I can sit in front of a machine and have at my fingertips perhaps not the sum of human knowledge, but a pretty close approximation (the closest the race has ever seen since, perhaps, the library at Alexandria).

The web allows me to, in the blink of an eye, serve up the most fitting of holiday offerings. Without traveling an inch, without consulting dusty tomes, without almost any effort whatsoever, I can direct you (dear reader) to a complete archive of all presidential Thanksgiving statements.

From George Washington's first proclamation in 1789, through James Madison's in 1815; then after a long period of no proclamations whatsoever, Abraham Lincoln's revival of the holiday in 1862; through F.D.R.'s words of comfort in the depths of the Great Depression, and all the way up to this year's proclamation by President Barack Obama, they're all there for you to read.

Previous to the web's creation, finding these would have taken a diligent search in a very good library, or an excellent book of history written for at least the college level. It would have taken hours of looking, in other words, and some effort in going to where the information was stored.

This is no longer necessary in the Internet Age. A few clicks of the mouse, a short phrase typed in, and such original texts are available to all within seconds.

So I invite you all to peruse the Thanksgiving presidential proclamations of years past. And, while doing so, give thanks for the internet and the web which make such easy access to information possible.

And have a great turkey day, everyone!


[Program Note: No column tomorrow. Columns resume normal schedule on Monday. Enjoy your holiday weekend.]


-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


7 Comments on “Thankful For The Web”

  1. [1] 
    kevinem2 wrote:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Chris, to you and the Missus.

    Are you celebrating at home, or visiting family?
    Have a good weekend, and I'll look forward to Monday.


  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I'm thankful for the web, too. Because, the web makes possible.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    One has to admire the creativity of teachers these days. To be able to actually educate kids rather than just teaching them how to recite by rote must be a herculean task.

    Reminds me of the old Danny Dunn series of books I read as a kid. The one where Danny had access to a room size Supercomputer and used it for his school work.

    Now we have computers that are 10 times more powerful that sit on the desk in our homes.

    For those old enough to remember how things were "Pre-Internet", the difference in information availability is truly astounding..


  4. [4] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine ... that brought back some memories.

    Though I was more of a Tom Swift fan myself. :)

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhhh A fellow old fart!! :D

    Danny Dunn and the Swamp Monster a good one.. But my favorite was Danny Dunn, Time Traveler.. Always loved the Time Travel books.. :D


  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    You guys are really showing your age. There's a whole generation (or two) of people who have never heard a "tom swiftie" in their lives.

    "Tom haltingly cried 'Stop!'..."
    "Tom spied his friend doing the backstroke swimmingly..."

    Heh heh.

    You guys are distracting me, I'm supposed to be posting, Chris wrote, procrastinatingly...


  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Chris wrote, procrastinatingly…

    I bet THAT word gave yer spell checker fits, eh? :D


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