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The History of Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again, a house full of family, football playing on the TV, kids running around, and the delicious food that will be feasted on!  That's right, Thanksgiving is this Thursday!  We all have things to be thankful for, but how did Thanksgiving become a national holiday?


In September 1620 the Mayflower left Plymouth, England caring 102 passengers to the new world.  After 66 days at sea, the Mayflower dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod.  The first winter was very brutal for the settlers and most remained on the Mayflower.  Still, only half of the 102 people survived this first winter in New England.  The remaining settlers moved ashore the following March to establish the village of Plymouth.  An Abenaki Indian greeted the settlers speaking in English and started a dialogue between natives and settlers.  Several days later the Abenaki Indian returned with another Native American by the name of Squanto.  Squanto, from the Pawtuxet tribe, taught the settlers how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the local rivers, and educated them on the poisonous plants in the area.  Squanto also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag tribe.  In November 1621, after the settlers' first successful corn harvest, Governor William Bradford organized a huge feast and invited chief Massasoit from the Wampanoag tribe.  This is known as the first Thanksgiving in America and lasted 3 days.


Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln created a proclamation scheduling Thanksgiving for the final Thursday of November each year.  Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated nationwide and now centers around cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends.  It is unknown if turkey was at the first Thanksgiving, however, 90% of Americans eat the bird during the holidays.


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Team Vivi!


source: By Dillon Landfried - Nov 27, 2019

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