The First Thanksgiving


Many people around the world know that American has a very nice holiday every 4th Thursday of November called Thanksgiving where the family and friends gather, eat turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, vegetables, nice bread, and pumpkin pie. We  gather for a special meal to thank God for his blessings. Does anyone know where the holiday actually came from besides Americans?


It began many, many years ago, before America was America, when it was considered, the New World. There were mostly Indians living in America then.  However, the white man had discovered America and were trying to colonize.  The system of government in European countries then was one that said the way for a country to make progress was to conquer other countries and add their wealth to the wealth of the conquering country.  This is called the mercantile system.  The Englishmen kept trying to colonize America thinking they would become rich.

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One of the earliest colonies was e a group of businessmen from England.  They didn’t call what they were practicing in their colony Communism, but that was essentially what it was.  They had a store house where all the goods they needed were kept, and if anyone needed something, they just went and took what they needed.  All the colonists had come to try to get rich.  They had come to exploit America.  They weren’t particularly very Christian people.  They fought a lot with the Indians, and the Indians killed many of them.  They learned that since they could take anything they wanted from the store room, they didn’t see a need to work, and they ran the store room out of supplies.  Many died of pneumonia.  The colony didn’t survive.  They were too selfish, too war like, and too lazy. If any of them lived, they went back to England, and it was a failed colony.

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Time went on, and back in Europe, there was religious persecution.  There were several different Christian religions by that point, and there was a group that had gone from country to country trying to escape persecution, but they just weren’t being treated well anywhere.  They wound up in England.  From England, they decided to go to the New
World because even in England, they had been treated badly.

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The name of their ship was the Mayflower.  They landed on Plymouth Rock when the got to the New World.   After they landed, to their surprise, they met an Indian who could speak English. He had been to England, and his name was Squanto.  These people from England were called the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims didn’t fight with the Indians the way the other colony did. In fact, they made friends with them.  The Indians showed them how to live in the New World.

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The Pilgrims built a colony. The Indians used fish to fertilize their gardens, and the Indians taught it to the Pilgrims. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and what was good to eat in the New World.  The Pilgrims were not only not fighting with the Indians, but they were also working.  They actually acted like Christians.  They got along with the Indians and tried to do the right thing. They were not selfish like the others had been. They were practicing their Christianity.

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The first winter came, and unfortunately, they couldn’t control everything.  The weather was very harsh, and it snowed a lot!  Life got harder.  Several of them got pneumonia and died.  However, not all of them.  The colony survived.  Spring came, and they began their planting again.


In the fall, their gardens were overflowing. There was plenty to eat, and it looked like they were going to have an easier winter than the first winter.  The Indians had kept them alive and were truly their friends.  The Pilgrims were so grateful to God for their blessings!  They threw a big feast inviting the Indians to join them to thank God for their blessings, and that is the first Thanksgiving.


However, it may not have been on the fourth Thursday of November, but it was in the fall.  After the first Thanksgiving, there were several Thanksgiving feasts through out the year in America.  After the revolutionary war, President Washington, the father of America, our first president, was also celebrating Thanksgiving feasts.  He decided to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday and fix a date.  Instead of people just randomly deciding to have a Thanksgiving meal any time they felt like it, he decided that all of America needed to celebrate on the same day every year.  That is how Thanksgiving began.

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