Holiday Harvest:

Brief History

The first official Thanksgiving was shared between the Wampanoag Indians and the Plymouth colonists in 1621. Although the collaboration is meant to be a sign of cooperation and mutual interaction, many people think fondly of Thanksgiving as a time for a shared feast. Homes through the United States celebrate the spirit of thankfulness each year in one way or another.

Typically, when reminiscing about past Thanksgivings most people refer back to the beautiful turkey, honey-smoked ham, or even the stuffing. These may be the Thanksgiving traditions of the present, the past celebrated the holiday with an entirely different menu.

Although there is little certainty to the exact menu items of the first Thanksgiving, some things have been determined. You may be disappointed to find out that pumpkin pie was not gracing the tables at the first bounty. Sea food items such as eel, clams and even lobster were present. The traditional turkey, although not prepared in the same way, was there along with duck, swan, and goose. The vegetables included peas, beans, onions, radishes, and carrots.

Although it was not what you think of as a traditional Thanksgiving meal, that is how it all began.

Over two hundred years after the well-known Plymouth harvest feast, the Thankgiving holiday was set to be celebrated the final Thursday in November. This date declaration was made by President Abraham Lincoln. Thanksgiving was then made an official national holiday by Congress in 1941.

Although Abraham Lincoln became the first American president to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving in 1863, a number of other presidents urged Americans to have a day of thanks.According to a series done by the History Channel, "George Washington, John Adams and James Madison all issued proclamations urging Americans to observe days of thanksgiving, both for general good fortune and for particularly momentous events (the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, in Washington's case; the end of the War of 1812, in Madison's)."

All Information for the history of the holiday was taken from The History Channel Website.