Last week, I started my discussion of Thanksgiving talking about Jamestown, VA. Today, the story progresses. In 1606, the same year that the authorization of Jamestown happened, pilgrims began congregating and worshipping in the town of Scrooby, while still in England. Facing threat, they fled to Leiden, the Netherlands. Why did they leave Leiden? Their children were growing up speaking Dutch and becoming more Dutch and less English every day. Unwilling to accept this change and suffering financial difficulty, the Pilgrims set out for the New World and landed on Plymouth Rock. The pilgrims were on their way for a destination farther south, when they were blown off course to the north. A complete passenger list with their stories is listed here. http://mayflowerhistory.com/mayflower-passenger-list/ After a terrible winter, the pilgrims were starving. Thanks to Squanto and other Native Americans, the pilgrims learned how to fish, how to plant crops and celebrated their harvest with a three day festival- the first Thanksgiving in 1621, nearly four hundred years ago.
Thanksgiving predates the independence of America and was observed unofficially, but it did not become a federal observance until it’d been celebrated for almost 250 years already! Abraham Lincoln is well known and beloved for a myriad of things, but do you connect him to “Turkey day”? You should! Thanksgiving became a national holiday under President Lincoln.
My best to you all,