by Ontheroxentf9w -

Happy Thanksgiving! But why do we celebrate it?

Happy Thanksgiving! But why do we celebrate it?
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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We know this great celebration as a time to get together with the family, enjoy delicious food (who thought of putting marshmallows on sweet potato mash? Thank you!) and be grateful for the people and things we have in our life. But where did this celebration start?

Well, cast your mind back to 1620 - when a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth in England, and 102 passengers arrived in this new land with the hopes they could feely practice their faith. This awful crossing lasted 66 days, and they arrived near the tip of Cape Cod (much more north than they had hoped). However, a month later the crossed Massachusetts Bay, and the Pilgrims began setting up the village called Plymouth.

The winter was brutal, and most of the colonists remained on the ship, where only half survived to see their first spring. Here, the remaining settlers moved to shore, where they were greeted by an Abenaki Indian who could speak some English. He brought a Native American - Squanto - to the team who would teach the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, catch fish, avoid poisonous plants, and other invaluable lessons. He also helped them forge a relationship with the Wampanoag - a local tribe. In 1621 the Plymouth colonists, and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. This is believed to be one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations, and across the next couple of hundred years, the individual colonies and states celebrated this moment their own way. In 1817 New York was the first state to officially adopt the Thanksgiving holiday.

Then, in 1863, a man you may know called Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, proclaimed that a national Thanksgiving Day should be held every November to "heal the wounds of the nation" - and here we are! So when you give thanks, remember how it started, and remember how important the Native Americans have been in where we are as a nation today, as we celebrate as a nation united. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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