In 1620, a group of religious separatists left England to find a new home. They arrived in Massachusetts Bay, but were unprepared for the climate. Hungry, cold, and sick, half the pilgrims didn’t make it through the winter. For the half that did survive, they were weak and likely wouldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for two Native Americans who were the first to meet them on shore. These two men, one of them known as Squanto, could speak English. Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and served as a slave before he escaped back to his homeland.
Squanto assisted the pilgrims with growing crops, specifically corn, and taught them about their new environment and also helped them build relationships with their Native American neighbors. In November 1621, when the pilgrim’s first harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford decided to have a celebratory feast and invite the pilgrims’ new friends, the Native Americans, to show their appreciation for their help.
The name “Thanksgiving” was fitting for commemorating that feast of goodwill that was celebrated between the Plymouth pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians on that November day, and from then on, it was celebrated by individuals to their choosing, then after the United States became a nation, it was celebrated by individual states as a whole, mostly Northern US states, until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving an official holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! have a wonderful day