Thanksgiving: The History Behind the Tradition

Posted by librarystaff on

Thanksgiving is a much loved American holiday. For many it is their favorite holiday – focused on family and reflections of the many things they have to be thankful for.  But have you ever wondered how Thanksgiving came to be?  There is actually some dispute about the origins and date of the first Thanksgiving feast.

pilgrims and american Indians at thanksgiving mealIt is known that in 1621, William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts, invited Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag Federation, to join the European colonists in a harvest feast of Thanksgiving.

To learn more about North American Indians and the early European settlers in North America, check out these books:

Making Haste From Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World by Nick Bunker
The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey by Brian Fagen
The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser
A Great & Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims & the Myth of the First Thanksgiving by Godfrey Hodgson
The Mayflower Miracle: The Pilgrims’ Own Story of the Founding of America by Jonathan King
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman
American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodward

Happy Thanksgiving!


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