It’s Thanksgiving In The U.S.
On the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday honoring the early settlers and their harvest feast known as the first Thanksgiving.
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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours for a wonderful and happy Celebration!
Long before settlers came to the East Coast of the United States, the area was inhabited by many Native American tribes. The native people knew the land well and had fished, hunted, and harvested for thousands of generations.
Europeans visited the east coast long before the Mayflower landed in America. And like Thanksgiving itself, there is debate about who and where landed first, as well as, when, who and where the first thanksgiving was held.
The general and current thinking is that the first thanksgiving was held in the Plymouth Colony of New England. The people who comprised the Plymouth Colony were a group of English Protestants who wanted to break away from the Church of England. A ship carrying 101 men, women, and children spent 66 days traveling the Atlantic Ocean, intending to land where New York City is now located. Due to the windy conditions, the group had to cut their trip short and settle at what is now called Cape Cod.
One day, Samoset, a leader of the Abenaki, and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto) visited the settlers. Squanto was a Wampanoag who had experience with other settlers and knew English. Squanto helped the settlers grow corn and use fish to fertilize their fields. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people and they joined together to protect each other from other tribes in March of 1621.
One day that fall, four settlers were sent to hunt for food for a harvest celebration. The Wampanoag heard gunshots and alerted their leader, Massasoit, who thought the English might be preparing for war. Massasoit visited the English settlement with 90 of his men to see if the war rumor was true. Soon after their visit, the Native Americans realized that the English were only hunting for the harvest celebration. Massasoit sent some of his own men to hunt deer for the feast and for three days, the English and native men, women, and children ate together. The meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat, far from today’s traditional Thanksgiving feast. ~ see the National Geographic for more of this story.
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