I want to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving.
Enjoy this bit of Thanksgiving History compiled by
The first American Thanksgiving was held on December 4, 1619, in Berkeley Hundred (Berkeley Plantation), Virginia. Thirty-eight English pilgrims arrived in America after a ten-week voyage under the leadership of Captain John Woodleaf.
The little English colony proclaimed in its charter that the day of the arrival on American soil would be remembered and celebrated every year as "a day of thanksgiving to God." The charter declared:
"We ordain that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantation in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."
In the first Thanksgiving picture below, Captain John Woodleaf is conducting the prayers at the first Thanksgiving service. This very first Thanksgiving was not a festive meal; that came later with the arrival of another passenger ship of American settlers.
The traditional American Thanksgiving holiday feast is traced to the arrival of the Mayflower ship, which docked off Provincetown, Massachusetts, on November 11, 1620. The 102 English settlers aboard chose explorers to go ashore and locate a settlement site.
The Mayflower sailed southward and landed at a harbor about 40 miles south of present day Boston. It was here that the passengers and crew lived on board the Mayflfower during the winter of 1620. In the spring of 1621, the pilgrims established their permanent settlement and named it Plimoth. Plimoth became the Plimoth Plantation and is today known as Plymouth.
The Plimoth Colony reaped a bountiful harvest during the first year of planting in 1621, and held a feast to give thanks to God. The three-day event was attended by members of the neighboring Wampanoag Indian tribe, who had provided substantial assistance to the pilgrims.
At the Plimoth Colony's first Thanksgiving, the custom was established to thank others for their assistance, in addition to thanking God Almighty.
Wild turkey and venison are mentioned as part of this first Thanksgiving Day menu. There was no wheat in the new land, so pies were not made; but there were ample pumpkins and fruits for sweet puddings. Corn, cultivated for generations by the local inhabitants, was an ingredient of many dishes. Perhaps cornbread stuffing, found in so many Thanksgiving images, originated from this first Thanksgiving feast.
The pilgrims learned how to plant corn from the Native Americans, and corn became a major source of their sustenance. Sweet corn and Indian corn are common images in Thanksgiving pictures.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
Share it with friends and loved ones.
I hope to be back next week.