Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 7PM

Over the River and Through the Woods –
Thanksgiving Day 1863

Topic: Over the River and Through the Woods – Thanksgiving Day 1863 In the midst of our Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday in November would be a national day of Thanksgiving. Despite being “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity,” he called for the whole American people “solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice” hold a “Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.” What was the impetus for this celebration? That was the beginning of our present Thanksgiving Day? What were the concerns of the day and issues faced by the people who lived on this Island? Just how would it have been celebrated here on Long Island. Learn of the preparations, dishes served and what a Thanksgiving dinner might have been like in the homes and inns of Suffolk’s South Shore. What did the family do after the dinner?

Speaker:  CDR George J. Munkenbeck, USCGR (Ret.)
CDR Munkenbeck is a native Long Islander who resides in West Sayville, NY. He earned a BS in Engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy and an MA in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Public University. He has been married to his wife Mary for 55 years this June and has three daughters and four grandchildren. A Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church, he is a fourth-generation member of New York’s volunteer fire service is an active member of the West Sayville Fire Department where he is an Ex-Captain of the Truck Company and serves as Department Chaplain and Captain of the Fire Police. A living historian with the 14th Brooklyn, Company H, for over 30 years he portrays a Civil War and Spanish-American War Chaplain. He serves as Town Historian of the Town of Islip, New York, and has a passion for the history of the United States, particularly Long Island and especially Islip Town, the volunteer fire service, technology, railroads, and Civil War medical topics. He is an avid model builder and has built models of lost and threatened Town of Islip buildings as well as railroad models. He is a member of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, United States Naval Institute, Sons of Union Veterans, Society of the Grand Army of the Republic, Richard J. Clark Post, and the Society of Civil War Surgeons.
Date:  Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Time:  7PM
Location: 1850 Bald Hill Schoolhouse, 505 Horseblock Road, Farmingville, NY 11738

Register using the form below. We have limited seating inside the schoolhouse so everyone must be pre-registtered.