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Today is Thanksgiving, a traditional holiday. It is a time to visit or be visited by family and friends, share a feast, and to give thanks to the Lord.

Thanksgiving (2)

The First Thanksgiving, Library of Congress

The first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621. The Pilgrims had encountered a very difficult winter in which they lost many of their own, but they were recovering. They were becoming more successful in farming and hunting due to the Native Americans that helped them, particularly one English-speaker named Squanto. The governor of Plymouth Plantation  at the time (whom I’m directly descended from) was a man named William Bradford). From his writings we get much of the pilgrims’ history and his valued friendship with Squanto. This first Thanksgiving was a time to celebrate and give thanks for having survived the harsh winter.

 

Thanksgiving was an off-and-on unofficial holiday from the Revolutionary War to the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in November 1863 that Thanksgiving was an official holiday, and would occur on the final Thursday of November. This was briefly changed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, but continues to be the fourth Thursday of the month to this day.

I’m going to my grandmother’s house myself this year, and I can’t wait until the largest feast of the year! Common foods associated with Thanksgiving are Turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Of course no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a pumpkin pie for dessert (my favorite!)

Let us not forget to give thanks for everything God has done for us, and to remember one of the greatest times of the year. Plus, it will soon be Christmas!

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