Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many people. It involves so much more than a day for giving thanks. It's also a day to reunite with family members you haven't seen in a while and to relive favorite…
Published November 01, 2012 by
The entirety of what we know about the first Thanksgiving comes only from two documents: a 1621 letter written by Edward Winslow and a letter written by William Bradford years after the event. Because of the scarcity of details, we have created an incredible legend of the first Thanksgiving.
In school, we learn about the day of thanks that the Pilgrims and native Indians shared to give thanks for the good harvest. We typically do not learn about the tensions between the two groups, the plague that killed all of the Patuxet people in 1619, or the captured natives who were sold as slaves.
What do we really know about this holiday?
The holiday we celebrate now has evolved from this first humble feast. Today, we draw meaning from our idea of the first Thanksgiving and its legend. We gather with family and friends and take stock of our own good harvest; today that is not so much a good yield of corn, but a good job, a good family, a home, an education, or whatever it is for which we are thankful. We bring Thanksgiving gifts and celebrate with a big meal with family or friends. The Pilgrims have become somewhat of a decoration for our celebrations, but the history of the real first Thanksgiving is much more complex and interesting than we give it credit for.