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.
Facts and Myths about Thanksgiving
- Long before settlers came to the East Coast of the United States, it was inhabited by many Native American tribes. The area surrounding the site of the first Thanksgiving, now known as southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island had been the home of the Wampanoag people for over 12,000 years, and had been visited by other European settlers before the arrival of the Mayflower. The native people knew the land well and had fished, hunted, and harvested for thousands of generations.
- Some food eaten during the first Thanksgiving was deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat. This is very different than what most people eat on Thanksgiving today!
- The English settlers did not call themselves 'pilgrims'. They enjoyed playing ball games, singing, and dancing.
- The peace between the Native Americans and settlers lasted for only a generation.
- Early settlers did not wear dark clothing and silver buckles on their shoes. Much of their clothing was brightly colored.
- In 1846, Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of a magazine called Godley’s Lady’s Book, campaigned for an annual national thanksgiving holiday after a passage about the harvest gathering of 1621 was discovered and incorrectly labeled as the first Thanksgiving.
- It wasn't until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared two national Thanksgivings; one in August to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg and the other in November to give thanks for "general blessings."
(Cited from National Geographic Kids)
Posted by Miss Meghan