The history of Thanksgiving is a long and winding one. It began as a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 and has evolved over time to become the holiday we know and love today.
Thanksgiving began as a harvest festival to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first successful harvest in the New World. The Pilgrim colonists had arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in December of 1620 and had faced many difficulties in their first year. But by the autumn of 1621, they had managed to plant crops, build homes, and establish a community. So they decided to commemorate their success with a special feast.
The feast was attended by about 90 Native Americans who had helped the Pilgrims survive during their first year. The two groups shared food and stories and gave thanks for all they had been given. This event is generally considered to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in America.
Over the years, Thanksgiving became a general celebration of harvest and bounty. It was celebrated sporadically at first but became more widespread in 1789 when George Washington proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be observed on November 26. After Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday of November. In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it to the fourth Thursday to extend the Christmas shopping season.
Thanksgiving is now celebrated by Americans of all religions and backgrounds as a time to come together with friends and family, give thanks for all we have, and enjoy good food. It is a cherished tradition that brings us together as a nation every year. Whatever your plans are, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.