By: Eli Morgan and Alaina Dorris
Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and Indians when together they held a feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest in the Pilgrims’ "New World" and thus began the tradition of Thanksgiving in 1621. Thanksgiving was later declared a holiday by President George Washington in 1789.
The first Thanksgiving was formed by the Plymouth colony after a harsh winter. In that same year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists then celebrated it as a traditional English feast and invited the Wampanoag Indians to join them. Their feast contained an assortment of crops and meat. From corn to deer and of course the turkey.
By the mid 1800’s, many states observed the Thanksgiving holiday, but poet Sarah J. Hale was wanting it to be a national holiday. During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln was looking for ways to reunite the nation and decided to discuss the national holiday idea with Hale. In 1863 President Lincoln gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday of November a day for Thanksgiving. Since then each year the present United States President gives a Thanksgiving Proclamation proclaiming Thanksgiving day a day of thanksgiving.