History of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has evolved from its beginning in 1610. (Photo Credit: History.com)

George Omondi

Perspectives Writer

In most homes in the U.S.A the Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated as a day of giving thanks and praise on the fourth Thursday in November and usually involves a turkey that is cooked as a symbol for the holiday.

Despite this, most still aren’t aware of the history of the holiday and how it has evolved throughout time. The first recorded history of this holiday dates back to 1610 in Jamestown where English ships arrived just in time with food and supplies to save settlers in that community during that harsh winter.

In 1621, the thanksgiving holiday was once again celebrated, but this time it was a three-day feast amongst the pilgrims of the Plymouth colony. This celebration was for the first harvest which had contained more fruit than expected and to also thank the Indians for their help during the process.

Harvest wasn’t nearly as good as the first year, therefore it wasn’t celebrated the following year but after harvests were better in 1623, the holiday was more of a prayer than celebration.

In the following years, thanksgiving wasn’t consistently celebrated until 1863 when President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November was reserved for a day of thanks and praise.

He instructed government departments to close for that day and ever since, thanksgiving was celebrated in November.

As we look forward to reuniting with our loved ones, it’s important to cherish and be thankful for the time we have, given the current state of the world.