Thanksgiving…Past & Present
Many of the things we were taught about Thanksgiving are false. Now through research and documents found of an eyewitness account, we know more about the first Thanksgiving.
In the fall of 1621 the Puritans (which we call Pilgrims), prepared for winter by gathering their first crops and hunting for a harvest celebration, this is the gathering we derived Thanksgiving from.
This celebration lasted three day with more than 100 English and Native men, women and children, who ate, played games, sang and danced together.
The meal that was served was quite different than today’s Thanksgiving meal. Their meal consisted of venison, waterfowl, shellfish and corn.
Most likely prayers and thanks were offered at this harvest festival, but the first religious Thanksgiving Day was in 1623, in which the Puritans gave thanks to God for rain after a two-month drought that threatened the years crops.
In 1827 Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godley’s Lady’s magazine launched a 36-year campaign for an Annual National Thanksgiving holiday, after a passage was found describing the 1621 harvest festival, which was labeled the first Thanksgiving.
Finally, in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
In 1941 President Roosevelt signed a bill declaring Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
Today, there are many traditions that families engage in.
Travel – Numerous families take to the roads and skies to spend time with extended family.
The Meal – Most likely will consist of Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries and Multitude of Pies.
Wishbone – Breaking of the Turkey Wishbone.
The Turkey Pardon – Each Year at a White House Ceremony the President is presented with a gift of a live turkey, which he pardons, allowing it to live out it’s days on a farm.
Helping Others – A large number of people across the country use this holiday to help the less fortunate by volunteering to serve food at homeless shelters.
TV – Countless people will watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Did you know that the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was held in 1924? Others will watch the numerous football games shown.
Church – Today, some churches offer Thanksgiving services, held the evening before Thanksgiving. The sermon will most likely be given behind a pulpit, podium or lectern.
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I hope you found this blog informative and interesting. If so, pass it on.