A Little Bit of History …
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Originating as a harvest festival, Thanksgiving has been celebrated, intermittently, since 1789. Abraham Lincoln was President when Thanksgiving was declared a federal holiday in 1863. During the American Civil War Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. This was to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
The event that Americans usually refer to as the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast, held at Plymouth, lasted three days. According to eye-witness, Edward Winslow, it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.
The Plymouth Pilgrims were taught how to catch eel and grow corn by Squanto, a Patuxet Native American who was living with the Wampanoag tribe. Squanto had learned English during his time spent as a slave in England and acted as an interpreter for the settlers. It was the Wampanoag leader, Massasoit, who had saved the Pilgrims from starvation during their first winter. Supplies brought from England were insufficient and almost half of the original settlers had died.
What Thanksgiving Means Today …
Here’s what Thanksgiving means to some of the ladies from our Instagram Family.
Apryl – Jackson Bend, Tennessee
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection & appreciation. It is a day for the entire United States population to consider the sacrifices & hardships endured by the pilgrims and how their leap of faith led to the great nation in which we live today.
Despite our many differences & disputes in this country, we can all agree that we are thankful to be able to gather together on this day and to do so without fear…
Karen – Vista, California
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday partly because it feels like the start of Christmas although it isn’t really. But as a result, New Year’s Day feels like the end of Christmas & it’s my least favorite day. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving is just about the coming together over a meal with family & friends to be grateful for all the good in our lives. No presents, no tree (for me anyway, that comes in Dec.) just time with loved ones & a corporate prayer of thanks. Christmas is a Christian day celebrating the birth of Jesus & not all families are Christian as I am, but any family of any faith can be grateful at Thanksgiving. It is a day that brings us all together around a dining table. Studies have shown that families who sit down together regularly at a table for meals are connected in a way that fast food on the fly & meals eaten alone do not provide. I like to think, as our nation sits down to this common meal it brings us together like all families.
Shannon – Dallas, Texas
For me, Thanksgiving is a special holiday! Our family truly savours the yearly tradition of a large Turducken with all the sides! We never know how long this mighty bird(s)…it is a duck, chicken and turkey all together(!) will take to cook properly…and that is sooo fun for us!!! We have all the sides and snacks and we play games and get hungrier and hungrier ALL day long!!!
It is such a joyful day!
Sheri – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Thanksgiving, for me, is a time to reflect on family and the blessings from God. I am thankful to have my children, Averi and Michael and I am thankful that both parents are still alive. And I am thrilled that my grandmother, 98 years old, is still with us. This, along with life-long friends, feeling loved and a Faithful Savior, gives me great cause to give great thanks!