The History Of Thanksgiving


Lexi Day, Reporter

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is celebrated in both the United States and in Canada (as well as in several other countries, though they have different traditions). In the US, Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November. Canada celebrates the holiday on the second Monday of October. However, in both countries it’s a holiday that’s commonly connected with food, family, and gratitude. There are football games and parades–the most popular being the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade–to celebrate the holiday.

One tradition that is observed by just about everyone is the big Thanksgiving meal. Some families have this for lunch, while others may have it for dinner. Some of the most common food on the table is turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie.

So Thanksgiving is a big deal, not just in the United States, but in many other countries too. Some people know the basics of how Thanksgiving began, but others know only the very simplest of details.

“I know there were pilgrims…that’s about it,” Farmington sophomore, Hailey Powell, said.

“Americans sailed the seas on the Mayflower then landed on an island that was already inhabited by Natives,” Sophomore, Grace Farnsworth, said.

Thanksgiving was started by the Pilgrims in 1621, though it was not called “Thanksgiving” until 1623. They had settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts and wished to give thanks for their harvest. They invited the Wampanoag Indians to join them and the Thanksgiving feast was born.

Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621, but was not made a national holiday until 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. He declared that it would be celebrated on the last Thursday of the month. President Franklin Roosevelt later moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November. Since then the country has celebrated Thanksgiving Day as we know it every year.


Fun Facts:

  • The first national celebration of Thanksgiving lasted three days. They did not have any desserts because it was during the  Civil War and there was no sugar.
  • There was a mix of Pilgrims and Indians at the feast, but it is said that there were only five women present.
  • Turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce were not on the menu at the first feast. Instead, they served different meats such as goose and fish, but no turkey. And they did have pumpkin and cranberries, but not in the form we usually have them.
  • There are four US towns that are called “Turkey”. They are located in  Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, and North Carolina.