Today is Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a celebration full of family gatherings, holiday meals, and giving thanks. It is a time of roasted turkeys, cranberry confections, cornbread stuffing, piping hot pumpkin pies, football games, and holiday parades.
The three-day festival that is now hailed as the “first Thanksgiving,” took place in the village of Plymouth in 1621. Governor William Bradford organized a feast to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first successful corn harvest. Those in attendance included the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Historians know that the Mayflower’s sugar supply had run low, so the meal did not feature any pies, but one record indicates that four men were sent on a “fowling” mission, which very well may have resulted in a turkey!
Presidents Washington, Adams, and Monroe proclaimed national Thanksgivings, but the custom soon fell out of favor. Then, in the 1820s, Sarah Josepha Hale began a campaign to reinstate the national celebration, and in 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed a Thursday in November as the National Day of Thanksgiving. The holiday has been celebrated ever since. Happy Thanksgiving!