Thanksgiving, a day off from work, turkey and pumpkin pie, and football games. That’s how many Americans think of this day. But we should probably remember the day for what it was, a celebration held by the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1621. The Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth in November of 1620. A little over 100 persons boarded the Mayflower to sail to the new world, but only half survived the trip and the following winter.
We should remember names like William Bradford, Myles Standish, John Alden, and Priscilla Mullins. Those four were part of the group that founded the Plymouth Colony. And of course there’s the famous Indian Squanto who befriended the colonists, and taught them to plant, fish, and hunt in their new home. He also negotiated a peaceful relationship between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Then there was Massasoit, who brought 90 Indians to the first feast.
Even though some of the facts of the first Thanksgiving are challenged, it still is a great holiday. It’s a day to give thanks for all that is good, a day to give thanks that we live in such a wonderful country.