Cultures from the ancient Greeks and Chinese to contemporary societies have set aside time to give thanks, especially for the harvest. In 1941, the United States set a permanent date for the observance.
Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.
Desserts have always been a special treat. For centuries, Mainers have enjoyed something sweet as a nice conclusion to a meal or celebrate a special occasion. But many things have changed over the years: how cooks learn to make desserts, what foods and tools were available, what was important to people.
Some of them like Easter, and Passover are religious holidays, while others like Thanksgiving are native just to America.