Thanksgiving History


Colleen Noah, Writer

Thanksgiving Day is a day where families come together to share a meal of warm turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and a variety of warm and cool dishes. The food shared at Thanksgiving resemble the meal shared between the pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621.  After pilgrims had settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, they were shocked to meet a tribe of Wampanoag Native Americans, but instead of the two groups going head-to-head, they became friends almost instantly.

To celebrate, both groups decided to feast together. The Wampanoag people provided lots of ducks, geese, venison, fish, vegetables, stews, and beer for the feast, all of which are resembled by the warm meals eaten at Thanksgiving today. After the feast, the pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans went head-to-head in games and races. The event was, by no means, organized or traditional, but it strengthened the bond between the Plymouth settlers and the Wampanoag people, two groups who had barely known each other. This caused a treaty to be put in place, which was the first treaty between a Native American tribe and American colonists.

In 1863, President Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving was to be celebrated the last Thursday of November. And it was declared a national holiday by congress in 1941 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed it in 1939. Thanksgiving has been celebrated since the nineteenth century by American families by sharing a meal with family, much like the meal shared between the Wampanoag Tribe and the Plymouth Settlers. So, This Thanksgiving, keep in mind the way this wonderful holiday came to be, and don’t forget to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Works Cited

“The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treaty.”, 9 Feb. 2010, Accessed 26 Nov. 2019.

Silverman, David J. “Thanksgiving Day .” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Accessed 26 Nov. 2019.

“When is Thanksgiving Day and why is it celebrated?” AlJazeera News, Al Jazeera Media Network, 26 Nov. 2019, Accessed 26 Nov. 2019.