History of Thanksgiving


Carlos Este-McDonald, Writer/Reporter

Many people have heard of and celebrate Thanksgiving, but how many people actually know the origin and history of this holiday? A Native American named Squanto was captured and sold into slavery by Englishmen, then escaped into London. history.com states that “Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.” He also helped build relations between the Wampanoag and Pilgrims which lasted for over 50 years, but is sadly one of the few examples of positive relations between the Natives and European colonists. According to history.com:history-of-thanksgiving , November 1621 the pilgrims’ corn harvest was successful and they celebrated by inviting their Native American allies to join in the feast. A few common thanksgiving foods are pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, and of course turkey. New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade (or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade) is the most well known and largest Thanksgiving parades, with floats of cartoon, movie, and video game characters. This holiday is not without controversy however, history.com states “Some Native Americans and many others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Overall, Thanksgiving has an interesting and controversial history. If you want to know more about our American holidays, look forward to the Christmas article this December!


Sources: https://www.history.com/