Give Thanks: The History of Thanksgiving


Staff Writer

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by pilgrims in what they called the “the new world” in October. The most prominent historic Thanksgiving event in American popular culture was the 1621 celebration at Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season in a way to be together and give thanks. Even before it was deemed Thanksgiving, the pilgrims celebrated this for three days straight after their first harvest in 1621. 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims went to the first Thanksgiving. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition. Thanksgiving started as a harvest festival. 

Today, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the last Thursday (or the fourth Thursday) of November. This is the day it has been celebrated since Abraham Lincoln made this proclamation in 1863. Many school districts are not in session during this holiday, and most give the following day off as well. Currently, many families and friends gather together to enjoy each other’s company and a meal, or as the pilgrims deemed it a feast. This Thanksgiving, be like the pilgrims and celebrate this time by giving thanks.