The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a North American Tradition, celebrated yearly by Americans today. The earliest Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8th, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.
Saint Augustine, FL
Saint Augustine, FL

The so called "first Thanksgiving" is thought to have been on the Plymouth Plantation, in 1632.
Plymouth Plantation
Plymouth Plantation

Thanksgiving in 1621, was to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for the successful bounty of crops. Among the Pilgrims, thanksgiving wasn't on a certain date; they would celebrate "Thanks" to god whenever something good happened to them. For example, in December, 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. Some scholars also believe this was the frist Thanksgiving ever celebrated.
A real American Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the entire country just after the revolutionary War, but at this time, it still was not considered a national holiday. Then, when Abraham Lincoln was in office he declared the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863. In 1941 Congress set the national holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November. President Roosevelt made this decision because he wanted to give people more time to shop for Christmas. Americans today celebrate Thanksgiving to celebrate friends, family, prosperity, and to thank God for His blessings.
The tradition of Thanksgiving has been carried on through American history for hundreds of years and Americans should be proud of it. At this time though, I believe that Thanksgiving is mostly thought of as a time to watch football, or eat as much turkey as you can. Some of us should remember why Thanksgiving ever excisted and try to keep that reason clear in our actions.

Foods Easten By Pilgrims on Thanksgiving
Seafood:
Cod, Clams, Lobsters
WIld Fowl: Wild Turkey, Goose, Duck
Meat: Venison (Deer), Seal
Grain: Wheat Flower, Indian Corn
Wheat Flower
Wheat Flower
indian corn
indian corn

Vegetables: Pumpkin, Peas, Beans
Fruit: Plums, Grapes
Nuts: Walnust, Chestnuts, Acorns
Herbs and Seasonings: Olive Oil, Liverwort, Leeks
Liverwort
Liverwort
Leeks
Leeks

As seen from this list, Thanksgving during the time of the Puritans was very different from today when it comes to the food we eat. The Puritans didn't eat turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, etc. They didn't have the foods we traditionally use for our Thanksgiving's today. The difference of food shows how Thanksgiving has evolved over time to what we are familar with today.

Latter-day history of Thanksgiving:
1817: The state of New York adopted Thanksgiving as an annual tradition, later in the 19th century several states followed suit.
1863: President Lincoln chose the last thursday of November as the date for an annual Thanksgiving holiday.
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Each President since Lincoln has made a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
1939: Franklin D. Roosevelt makes the Fourth Thursday of November the annual date for Thanksgiving. This was later approved by congress in 1941.

Links
http://www.history.com/minisites/thanksgiving/
http://www.wilstar.com/holidays/thankstr.htm

Video
http://www.history.com/video.do?name=culture&bcpid=1676043212&bclid=1672079702&bctid=1586348651