Thanksgiving at Hildene
While Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving since the days of the Pilgrims, and many presidents who preceded him have proclaimed days of thanks for the nation, it was President Abraham Lincoln who signed the first annual national Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863. This document designated the last Thursday of November as the official day of celebration for the country. The Civil War president saw this holiday as a time for a war-weary people to pause and give thanks that the conflict would soon be over. To honor President Lincoln’s role in making Thanksgiving a day of celebration for all Americans, and to acknowledge Abe’s relentless curiosity and ability to tackle the most serious of challenges, Hildene invites visitors to Guess the Lincoln Pennies in the Jar. The contest commences on Monday, November 25, and runs through Sunday, December 8, at the conclusion of Open House Weekend at the Museum Store. Only one entry per person is allowed, and no admission fee or store purchase is required. Youth ages 5 to 15, accompanied by an adult, are invited to stop by the Welcome Center to record their estimate of how many pennies are in the jar. The winner, whose guess comes closest to the total, will receive a check in their name for the actual amount and Hildene will match that amount with a check to a non-profit of the winner’s choosing (certain criteria do apply). Those 16 and older may also participate by submitting a guess. In this case, the winner will receive a copy of ‘Giant in the Shadows: the Life of Robert T. Lincoln,’ written by Jason Emerson, a Lincoln scholar and former Hildene Scholar in Residence. The public is invited to Hildene’s Open House at the Museum Store. ‘Our House for the Holidays’ will be held on Saturday, and Sunday, December 7 and 8. Between 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday, the Emerald Valley Recorder Ensemble will be performing music. Shoppers can continue their Hildene experience with a visit to the house, decorated for the holidays; guest passes are available for purchase at the Welcome Center.
Hildene is open daily from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults and $5 for children under 14. The historic site is closed November 28, Thanksgiving Day. For more information visit hildene.org, call 802-362-1788 or email [email protected]