Post appears on the KVBPR Blog.
Any child who asks what Thanksgiving is will undoubtedly receive one of the following answers: it’s a day to give thanks for all of the good things that have happened to you; it’s a day to spend with your family, recognizing how lucky you are to have each other; it’s a chance to reflect on everything you have and do something nice for those who are less fortunate; it’s a day to eat and eat and eat!
But how many adults know the full story of the first Thanksgiving? Rather than providing a full history lesson, here are some key details*:
- In the early fall of 1621 the 53 surviving pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest, along with natives from the Wampanoag tribe
- The pilgrims did NOT call this celebration “Thanksgiving”
- Eventually the Day of Thanksgiving and the harvest celebration became one event that was proclaimed by individual governors on a Thursday in November
- Throughout history some presidents have proclaimed Thanksgiving and some have not
- Thanksgiving became an annual, national tradition in 1863, started by President Abraham Lincoln
Unlike the first celebration in 1621, this year’s Thanksgiving will be heavily documented. Countless photos and messages from Thanksgiving dinners around the country will flood Facebook walls and Twitter feeds. What if the pilgrims had Twitter handles? What would their posts say**?
@TheMrsBillington: I cannot believe how delicious the meal looks, we are amazing cooks ladies! @Miss_MaryB @LizaHop1621 @SusyWhiteWinslow
@LizaHop1621: There are 3 things I am thankful for this year: @StephenHopkins, @CutieConnie413 & my little Giles Hopkins. My family is a blessing!
@CutieConnie413: OMG, why do I have to sit next to Johnny Crackston at dinner? Major #fail!
@PrincessPriscilla: I just keep staring at the squash, leeks and wild onions I cooked…they look so good! To all those at our feast tonight – you are welcome!
@JustFrankyB: @TheyCallMeJohnny After dinner it is you, me and the draughts board. #IWantARematch!
@TheyCallMeJohnny: Challenge accepted! RT @JustFrankyB: After dinner it is you, me and the draughts board. #IWantARematch!
What will you be saying from (underneath) the holiday table this year?
*facts about the first Thanksgiving provided by Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass.
**Identities based on actual individuals documented as attending the first Thanksgiving. Information provided by Pilgrim Hall Museum.