“In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.”
Thus begins the History of Thanksgiving on the History Channel’s web page. I admit that it has been more than a few years since I was in grade school (grammar school? elementary school? – the name continues to change depending on where you live). As a result of this time lapse, it turns out that there are many, many things about one of most beloved holidays that I either forgot or never knew. For instance, there were no pies! What?! – Thanksgiving with no pies??!! Also, it’s likely that the meal may have consisted mainly of venison.
Most families have traditions surrounding Thanksgiving — a time to gather, enjoy being together, and not worry about buying or opening gifts. Like most Americans, our traditions involved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (something that my mom still won’t miss each year), and watching football. Note: for those of us living in Wisconsin, the Thanksgiving football game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will hold special significance and, I suspect, an incredible number of viewers due to the retiring of former Quarterback Brett Favre’s iconic number 4.
For more information about the Thanksgiving holiday — both it’s origins and subsequent innovations — visit the History Channel’s complete coverage on the webpage.
Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday!
Outagamie County Master Gardeners Association