The first Thanksgiving Day in America took place in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in the year 1621. After many months of hard work in the fields, a small group of hardy Pilgrims succeeded in reaping their first harvest. Now they could face the cold winter months knowing that there would be plenty of food for all.
Their gratitude at having survived a year of hardship in their new home was so great that the settlers decided to set aside a special time for offering thanks for all their blessings. As one of the men wrote to a friend he had left in England, the small group wanted to "rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor."
The first American Thanksgiving feast over 375 years ago was a lavish feast. The long tables were laden with roast ducks and geese, smoked eel, shellfish, pies, peas, salad greens and bread. The guests at the dinner were the Indian chief Massasoit and 90 braves. Several times during the year there had been conflicts with the Indians, but peace had come at last. The guests brought welcome gifts of game to the feast. There were games and singing and the celebration lasted for three days.
Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts made the first Thanksgiving Proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth.
Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us. . . has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.
Now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime on Thursday, November 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
The custom of giving thanks for the harvest spread as the country grew. In 1789 President George Washington proclaimed November 26 a day of Thanksgiving. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed one Thanksgiving Day for all the American people--the last Thursday in November. Today Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in American on the fourth Thursday in November. Let us not forget to thank our God Who gives us richly all things to enjoy. And let us make every day a thanksgiving day as we show our thanksgiving in our thanks-living.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is
for his mercy endureth for ever.
A Psalm of Praise
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.Be "thinkful" and thus thankful!
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