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Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving
02:30PM / Thursday, November 19, 2015
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Stockbridge resident and artist Norman Rockwell used Thanksgiving to illustrate 'Freedom from Want.'

Thanksgiving will be observed on Thursday, Nov. 26. The day is a national holiday inspired by the first Thanksgiving dinner shared between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags in 1621 at Plymouth. The living history museum Plimoth Plantation continues the tradition each year with a recreation of the event in which visitors can participate.

Thanksgiving was first federally recognized by proclamation in 1863 by President Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. It did not become codified as a national holiday until 1941, when President Roosevelt signed a law setting it as the fourth Thursday of November. Canada holds a similar celebration on the second Monday in October.

More locally, the day marks the anniversary of the completion of the Hoosac Tunnel. It was on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1874, that the final bit of rock was blasted out in the town of Florida to open what was then the longest rail tunnel in the world.

It was a couple days after Thanksgiving in 1965 that folk-rock legend Arlo Guthrie was arrested for littering in Stockbridge, sparking the famous song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" about the Thanksgiving feast and its consequences.

For those in need of a Thanksgiving meal, a number of churches and charities are offering deliveries or fellowship on and around Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running
Colleges and schools
Liquor & package stores
Stock market

Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores
Some retail outlets have full or partial hours

Black Friday
Retail outlets open; many chains have early and late-night hours
Federal, state and local offices; mail delivery.
BRTA running
Most businesses open
Stock market (early close at 1 p.m.)

Schools and colleges
Many local and state offices

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