Universal York

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1770s Archives

First National Thanksgiving Marker, East Market Street, York Have you passed by the marker above, tucked into a mini-park in downtown York, PA, and wondered about the story behind it? The marker reads: “THE FIRST NATIONAL THANKSGIVING WAS PROCLAIMED FROM YORK BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS ON NOVEMBER 1, 1777 TO

We tend to think of our ancestors and their contemporaries as very strait-laced. Sometimes nothing can be farther from the truth. That’s what is so fascinating about using original documents as historical sources. Those letters, diaries, and newspapers they left behind sometime fairly sizzle with crime, intrigue, and scandal. For