The story of Thanksgiving

In New England, they celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. There were the Pilgrims together with 91 Indians.

Journey on the Mayflower – click HERE.

The Pilgrims first set foot at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. The first winter in Massachusetts was very harsh and 46 out of the original 102 Pilgrims died.  It is believed that the Indians helped the Pilgrims through that difficult period to survive. These Pilgrims were mostly “Separatists,” who left Europe to find a land of liberty.

In the following Spring of 1621, Samoset of the Wampanoag Tribe and Squanto of the Patuxet Tribe, taught the survivors how to plant corn or maize and how to catch alewives, a kind of fish to fertilize growing pumpkins (or squash), beans, peas and other crops.

These Indians also taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and angle.

Things got better in 1621 when the corn and pumpkin harvest was bountiful. Governor William Bradford invited the Indians for a great celebration.

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George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789.

In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states did the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November (the day November 21, 1621 was when the Mayflower arrived in Cape Cod.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939.

Seven other nations also celebrate an official Thanksgiving Day, though on a different date:  Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia and Switzerland.

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, that’s the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.  The primary goal of Thanksgiving Day is to express gratitude to God for his many gifts.