History of Thanksgiving Day by Studies Weekly

History of Thanksgiving Day by Studies Weekly

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turkey pumpkin pie family football and parades where did these traditions come from and how did they become a part of the national holiday we call Thanksgiving to understand the origins of this holiday we must take a look back at the origins of our country itself particularly at the Plymouth Colony and it's crucial first year in the fall of 1620 the cargo ship Mayflower transported a group of 102 english men women and children to the new world a portion of this group were separatists
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people who had religiously separated themselves from the Church of England and wanted to come to the new world to find religious freedom in time these people would come to be known as the pilgrims the Mayflower arrived at the new world in December of 1620 weeks later than they had originally hoped and landing much farther north than they had planned putting them in present-day Massachusetts these unfortunate circumstances made for a particularly harsh winter nearly half the colonists died and those who did not fell ill as
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the spring of 1621 approached the lock of Plymouth Colony began to change the colony was visited by several local Indians or Wampanoag people one of these visitors was tisk wantem otherwise known as Squanto Squanto spoke English and showed the pilgrims how to use fish as fertilizer to grow crops on sandy land he was their interpreter he even chose to live among the colonists at Plymouth by November
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1621 things were looking up for the pilgrims they had survived their first year in the new world and had a successful enough harvest to continue living there the pilgrims collected their harvest which could have included corn pumpkins squash and some grain they caught fish and gathered together wild fowl or birds such as ducks geese and even wild turkeys to feast on in celebration the mighty king of the Wampanoag people Massasoit joined the pilgrims with 90 of his men he also
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donated five deer to this great feast which lasted for three whole days to the pilgrims this celebration was not the start of a new holiday it was a common harvest festival much like the ones held in Europe every fall after a good harvest on December 18th 1777 Washington held a national day of Thanksgiving to commemorate the defeat of the British Army at Saratoga through the remainder of the Revolutionary War Washington proclaimed several national
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days of Thanksgiving to commemorate special days by the end of the war individual states particularly in the north had gotten used to having a yearly Thanksgiving Day though there was no official national holiday and the date of the feast would vary from state to state Thanksgiving as we know it today was made possible largely by the efforts of a 19th century writer named Sarah Josepha Hale she was America's first female magazine editor and author of the famous nursery rhyme mary had a little
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lamb during the Civil War Hale was convinced that a national Thanksgiving Day would awaken in American hearts the love of home and country of thankfulness to God and peace between brethren she wrote letters to governor's and even to President Abraham Lincoln a few days after receiving her letter on October 3rd 1863 President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day year
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after year Americans continued to celebrate this day of feasting and thanks even though Congress had not yet ratified it as an official holiday over the years the date seemed to coincide with the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in 1924 Macy's department store started their Thanksgiving Day Parade which route heads down the streets of New York and ends at the store also in the 1920s the Detroit Lions came up with the idea of a Thanksgiving Day football game in order to boost dwindling
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attendance it was not until 1941 the Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day a legal holiday when they did they moved the holiday up one week so the official day of Thanksgiving would be the fourth Thursday in November this was done in at to extend the Christmas shopping season today more than anything else Thanksgiving is about family though the way we serve our turkey and our pumpkin may have changed and our entertainment varied over the years from archery and
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displays of arms to football and parades Thanksgiving has become a welcome day of rest to spend with loved ones in recognition and appreciation for all the blessings for which we are thankful

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