Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving in America - David Barton




The tradition of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back almost four centuries in America. While such celebrations occurred at Cape Henry Virginia as early as 1607,[1] it is from the Pilgrims that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. After disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they had a prayer service and began building hasty shelters, but unprepared for a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring.[2]

Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians,[3] they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.[4] The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends[5] America's first Thanksgiving Festival. This began an annual tradition in the New England Colonies that slowly spread into other Colonies.[6]

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