It’s Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that has been celebrated annually in America for the last 157 years.
The holiday originated when a merchant ship named the Mayflower set sail from England’s southern coast for the New World in September of 1620. The ship carried 102 passengers and a crew of 30 that traveled through dangerous waters and wind as they were seeking freedom from the corrupt dictatorship of the Church of England.
The Mayflower arrived in America after 66 days of travel across the Atlantic Ocean. The Mayflower anchored at what would become Provincetown, Massachusetts, but the final site they chose in December was Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The pilgrims were exhausted, and more than half died that first winter; only 53 survived, five of them women. By March 1621, all were living in cabins they had built and no longer living on the Mayflower.
The Wampanoag Indians lived in Plymouth, and they helped the pilgrims learn how to cultivate the soil and how to hunt. Later, as the Colony began to flourish, to celebrate Plymouth’s beautiful harvest in the fall of 1621, Governor William Bradford organized three days of celebration inviting their Wampanoag friends to join them. This was the first Thanksgiving celebration.
In 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday.
From the Edge Media Group family to your family, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.