The Thanksgiving holiday celebrated each November in the United States is known worldwide as an American custom, but its roots extend far back into human history.
The Pilgrims, who celebrated the first thanksgiving in America, were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. In 1609 a group of Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom in Holland.
After a few years their children were speaking Dutch and had become attached to the dutch way of life. This worried the Pilgrims. They considered the Dutch frivolous and their ideas a threat to their children's education and morality.
So they decided to leave Holland and travel to the New World. On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower.
It was a very tough voyage.
After 65 days at sea, they first landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts on November 11.
It was a very tough voyage. After 65 days at sea, they first landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts on November 11. By December, they moved to Plymouth, and settled down there.
The first winter was devastating to the Pilgrims. The cold, snow and sleet was exceptionally heavy. Of the 110 Pilgrims and crew who left England, less that 50 survived the first winter.
Pilgrims Going to Church The First Sermon Ashore, 1621
On March 16, 1621, what was to become an important event took place, an Indian brave walked into the Plymouth settlement. The Pilgrims were frightened until the Indian called out "Welcome" (in English!). His name was Samoset.
Later on, Samoset brought another Indian named Squanto who spoke better English than Samoset to meet the Pilgrims. Squanto's importance to the Pilgrims was enormous and it can be said that they would not have survived without his help.
He taught the Pilgrims to tap the maple trees for sap and taught them how to plant the Indian corns.
The harvest in October was very successful and the Pilgrims found themselves with enough food to put away for the winter. There was corn, fruits and vegetables, fish to be packed in salt, and meat to be cured over smoky fires.
The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native Americans. William Bradford
They invited Squanto and about 90 Indians to join them in their celebration, which lasted for 3 days.
The following year 1622 the Pilgrims harvest was not as bountiful, as they were still unused to growing the corn. During the year they had also shared their stored food with newcomers and the Pilgrims ran short of food.
The 3rd year brought a spring and summer that was hot and dry with the crops dying in the fields. Governor Bradford ordered a day of fasting and prayer, and it was soon thereafter that a long and steady rain came.
To give their thankfulness to God - November 29th of that year was proclaimed to be a day of thanksgiving. This date is believed to be the real true beginning of the present day Thanksgiving Day. November 29, 1623
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks to God for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they proclaimed June 29 as a day of thanksgiving.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, Congress proclaimed days of fasting and of thanksgiving annually. This proclamation by Congress set May 17, 1776, as a "day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer" throughout the colonies.
thanksgiving and prayer Washington's first proclamation after his inauguration as the nation's first president in 1789 declared November 26, as a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer."
“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor....” “ 承认全能上帝的供 应，遵行祂的旨意， 感恩于祂的恩惠，谦 卑祈求祂的保守和祝 福是所有国家的责任 ………···” 1789 Thanksgiving and Prayer Proclamation
In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after him.
“...They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People....” 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation “...( 我们在人数、财富和国力上 增长 ) 都是出于至高的上帝，祂 为我们的罪向我们动怒，然而 同时却也怜悯施恩给我们。我 认为我们应该做的是：全地美 国人民当以庄严、恭敬和感恩 的心，同声合一地承认上帝的 作为... ” “...( 我们在人数、财富和国力上 增长 ) 都是出于至高的上帝，祂 为我们的罪向我们动怒，然而 同时却也怜悯施恩给我们。我 认为我们应该做的是：全地美 国人民当以庄严、恭敬和感恩 的心，同声合一地承认上帝的 作为... ”
The date was changed a couple of times, and in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving is also a time for family gathering and great food. The tradition thanksgiving menu includes turkey, meshed potato, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
It’s also a tradition to recount the origins of the Day of Thanksgiving, that we may celebrate the holiday as the Pilgrims did, in humble acknowledgment and heartfelt gratitude for God’s many blessings upon us.