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From The Archives: Thankful For The Web

[ Posted Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 – 17:35 UTC ]

[Program Note: I'm sneaking out of the office early for Thanksgiving this year. Below is last year's column, which I've posted for two reasons: (1.) the link to the Thanksgiving Proclamation site is worth it on its own, and (2.) it fills what would otherwise be a noticeably empty column space here today. If you'd like something better to read right before Thanksgiving, you could always look up my first Thanksgiving column, one of my early attempts at humor. It's a bit dated (you may have to Google some of the names to remember the references), I warn you. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone (except our neighbors up in Canada, who got the whole holiday out of the way with weeks ago, of course)! This column will return next Monday, just in time for prime lame duck season.]


This article originally appeared November 26, 2009.

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!


-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


9 Comments on “From The Archives: Thankful For The Web”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    You want to know what I find most fascinating about the Web?

    No?? Well, I am going to tell you anyways..

    When I read news reports of things happening all over the world, I can get on GOOGLE MAPS and actually SEE the area being discussed...

    Go to and cut and paste the listed coordinates..

    North Korea attacks Yeonpyeong Island?? I can see exactly where that island is and the geo-political implications of it's location..

    When I talk to my son in Alaska, I can immediately see exactly where he is at.

    When I read about Iran's Nuclear Power Plant, I can see exactly where it is..
    (Why they would be STOOPID enough to put it right on the coast is beyond me..)

    When I get into a debate on Hamas terrorists firing from populated and am told by a HuffPo commentator that the only areas TO fire from ARE populated areas, I can show her how full of shit she actually is..

    When the "ruins" of Atlantis are discovered, I can experience the wonder and awe as well! :D

    I can even take a look at our old house 29.824038,-81.34147

    And the house I grew up in.

    All in a matter of minutes..

    That's what the Web is too me..

    A magical tool where I can actually SEE the areas and locations that I am reading about and have lived at..

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.. :D



  2. [2] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to all;I really do try to reflect on what I am grateful for;not only this day but every day.Some days it is easier than others to be grateful but on the whole I believe life is a grand gift.I have come to believe it is not the destination;but the journey which matters.I think I learned that from the late columnist Sidney Harris who had a feature in his column Things I learned on the way to somewhere else.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    .I have come to believe it is not the destination;but the journey which matters.

    "To the journey!"
    -Ensign Harry Kim, STAR TREK VOYAGER, Endgame PT 1



  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely, utterly and totally different point..

    As Spock would say....


    If Obama had a hand in ordering this, I take back all.... er... most.... uh... some of the bad things I have said about him. :D



  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    A belated Happy Thanksgiving all!

    I'm thankful that the Interwebs allowed me to completely miss the event dubbed Black Friday.


    "Waving the flag with one hand and picking pockets with the other, that's your 'patriotism'." - Alicia, Notorious

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wish our Thanksgiving holiday lasted the better part of a week. Sheesh.

    Here's looking forward to Monday!


  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    One of our comedy greats has died.

    Actor Leslie Neilsen who gave us, "Yes, and don't call me Shirley" has passed away at age 84.

    Tis a sad day indeed..



  8. [8] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    One of our comedy greats has died.

    Michale I agree with you completely.I was almost this sad when the powers that be axed Police Squad;I loved that program.Leslie Nielson RIP.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale and Americulchie -

    Surely, Neilsen rests in peace. And don't call him "Shirley Neilsen"...

    (I always thought it was hilarious that the guy who popularized this running joke had a feminine first name to begin with, myself...)



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