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Who Invented Thanksgiving?

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When it comes to the origin of Thanksgiving, many people are puzzled by the many historical facts that surround the holiday. It was created in 1789 by a British aristocrat, Sarah Josepha Hale, but was it the Native Americans? Is it a new holiday that arose as a result of Andrew Johnson’s proclamation or was it first observed by Native Americans? Read on to discover more about the history of this American tradition.

Sarah Josepha Hale

The day we celebrate Thanksgiving is a tradition that was born in New England, but whose origins remain obscure. During the early nineteenth century, Thanksgiving was a two-course meal, usually featuring a turkey as the main course. Other meats and wild game, such as duck and goose, were also served as a part of the feast. However, by the nineteenth century, game had largely disappeared from American tables and domesticated goose had become the main course.

While deer were important in early European settlements, wild turkey played a central role in the westward expansion of the American colonies. Today, the wild turkey is a cultural symbol and is closely linked to the nation’s history and culture. In fact, many Americans believe that Hale invented Thanksgiving to celebrate the turkey. But that isn’t the whole story. In this history of Thanksgiving, she explores the history of how the tradition evolved.

Andrew Johnson’s proclamation

During the War of 1812, Andy Johnson appointed Thursday, November 26th as a day of thanksgiving. It was an opportunity for Americans of all faiths to come together to celebrate the great and beneficent Being, the Author of all good. The tenth amendment outlined the rights of those who left United States territory or crossed into the pretended Confederate States. The eleventh amendment also defined “illegal aliens,” those who crossed the border into the Union from Canada, or who made raids into the United States from lakes or rivers.

As the third year of the Civil War drew to a close, the United States began to recognize the day as a national holiday. Thanksgiving was formally observed on this day, and for years thereafter it has been held on the same day in every state, except Virginia. Its earliest proclamation, written by Abraham Lincoln, lasted for just over a year, while others were more than half a page long and mentioned specific events of the previous year.

Thomas Jefferson

While we may be grateful for the bounty and good health of our nation, Thomas Jefferson didn’t invent Thanksgiving as a national holiday. That distinction was first ascribed to President George Washington, who formally declared Thanksgiving Day in 1789. In that year, the young nation had just emerged from the American Revolution and wanted a day to express its gratitude. Congress voted overwhelmingly to establish a day to give thanks, but it didn’t become an annual tradition until 1815.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson fought against his predecessor, John Adams, who had declared that presidents had no right to interfere with religious institutions. However, Jefferson argued that Thanksgiving days and fasts were a remnant of British rule over the American colonies and thus incompatible with the American republic’s constitutional principles. Despite his opposition to public celebrations of thanksgiving, he did not comment on them, as he believed in the wall of separation between Church and State.

Native Americans

The pilgrims did not know that the first Thanksgiving was actually an Indigenous ceremony. In fact, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by Mashpee Wampanoags without their permission, honoring a mutual defense agreement they made with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. The feast has become a major national holiday, and the Wampanoags are still part of that community. According to David J. Silverman, author of “This Land is Their Land,” the Wampanoags are the oldest continuous Native people in North America.

Though the first Thanksgiving celebration was a Thanksgiving celebration, it was not a feast of friendship. In 1621, when fifty colonists celebrated their successful harvest, 90 Wampanoag men joined them. In exchange for a meal, the Wampanoag men offered the colonists deer they had hunted. The Native Americans were not friends, but they offered them a deer they had hunted for food. The colonists were cruel and violent toward the Indigenous people, stealing land and bringing new diseases. The effects of this violent interaction on Native American communities lasted for several hundreds of years.

Puritan thanksgivings

Puritan colonies celebrated annual thanksgivings for a number of reasons, including bountiful harvests and various victories in battle. The Puritans also believed that success and fortune were related to God’s pleasure, and celebrated this relationship by calling thanksgivings at various times of the year. During the Puritan era, a thanksgiving day was typically called by the minister of a town or the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Governor. The day was celebrated for a variety of reasons, including bountiful harvests, prosperity, and even the abatement of epidemics and plagues.

Though they resisted the observance of the Puritan holy day for a time, they eventually relented. The dwindling number of Puritan worship services led the Protestants to hold joint Thanksgiving services with other denominations. Today, many Christian congregations do not hold worship services on Thanksgiving, because they believe that this time of year is a time for the family, and raise themes related to the holiday on Sundays.

Native American traditions

The history of Thanksgiving goes back centuries, but today we celebrate it with many modern twists. Many schools focus on the Pilgrims, but a more accurate history would consider both sides of the story. Native Americans, for example, would celebrate thanksgiving in the same way they celebrated the harvest before settlers arrived. These traditions are based on gratitude for creation, care for the environment, and communion with nature. Native Americans today are fighting against the same issues they did centuries ago.

One way that Native Americans honor Thanksgiving is by attending powwows. Many powwows are family events, and you can find roasted corn cobs, giant turkey legs, and Indian tacos on the concession stands. In addition to eating delicious food, you can watch and participate in Native American dances and reenactments. The dancers tell stories with their dances, and children can get in on the fun.

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