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Blessings in an election month

Mary Phillips Published: January 17, 2013

I had never thought about it before, but Election Day and Thanksgiving Day are both in the month of November.

As voters cast ballots in last week’s presidential election, it’s doubtful many were thinking about the upcoming holiday. It’s more likely they were pondering who would win. Even Facebook friends have faced off, espousing the merits of their chosen candidates. So, emotions have been high, not unlike a previous presidential election.

The 1948 presidential election was between President Harry Truman and Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, of New York.

It was a difficult race to predict, and it led to the famous newspaper headline proclaiming Dewey as the presidential winner.

Now in this era of almost instantaneous results, such a bold error is not likely, but the sentiments of the following words still hold true. The Oklahoman published this editorial Nov. 1, 1948:

“Both in November

“Our lawmakers have so arranged it that the same month that brings our fiery furnace national election also brings our day of national Thanksgiving. About three weeks after approximately 50,000,000 people have gone to the polls gnashing their teeth and declaiming right luridly they will be assembled in our country’s multiplied churches returning thanks for the blessed privilege of residing in the greatest and cleanest and happiest country on earth.

Soon after the election has been held Mr. Truman will issue a proclamation calling upon all people of all parties to dedicate the day of his official selection to general thanksgiving for a happy and prosperous year. He will issue that proclamation, regardless of his electoral fate on November 2. And no matter whether Gov. Dewey wins or loses the presidential prize next Thursday, he will issue a state proclamation of Thanksgiving day and urge the people of his state to show their gratitude for mercies and blessings received.

And no matter how partisans have fumed and stormed and predicted unspeakable disaster they will be found side by side in some loftily spired edifice thanking their creator for the blessings all of them have enjoyed. No matter how the November election goes, all people of all political faiths will unite in holding that our country is the most blessed country beneath the Sun. And myriads of those who have been maddest through the campaign will be wondering on Thanksgiving day just what were they mad about anyway.”

After the hotly contested presidential election, with state candidates and issues also on the ballot, we hope that the citizens of our great country can put our differences behind us and as we sit at the Thanksgiving table remember our blessings.

Congratulations to the winners, consolations to the losers and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!