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The History of Thanksgiving in America

Thanksgiving • A thanks to God for blessing • Oldest American Holiday • Story about the Pilgrims – foreigner, alien or wanderer

Who Were the Pilgrims? • Christians who felt they must separate from the corruption they saw in the Church of England • People who left England to find religious liberty -- first to Holland, and then to the “New World” • Men, women & children – Average age: 32

Who Were the Pilgrims? 1534 everyone required to join Church of England Two types of Pilgrims: Puritans – purify or clean Separatists – want to leave the church (still called Pilgrims).

Trip to Leyden, Holland • • • •

Moved in 1607 Poor in new country Children forgetting English Wanted to start new life in America

What was their journey like? • 102 people left on the Mayflower, on Sept. 6, 1620 • Many very seasick • Mocked by the crew • Cross beam broken • Blown off course

What was their journey like? “After they had enjoyed fair winds and weather for a season, they were encountered many times with cross winds, and met with many fierce storms…one of the main beams in the mid ships was bowed and cracked, which put them in some fear that the ship could not be able to perform the voyage…” Of Plymouth Plantation William Bradford

Their Arrival - Nov. 11, 1620 “Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.� Of Plymouth Plantation William Bradford


• They land in Massachusetts, not New York! • They sign the Mayflower Compact: predecessor of the Constitution • They find a landing place that is already cleared but is uninhabited!

Mayflower Compact 1. 2. 3. 4.

To take Christianity to new areas: “having [begun], for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith…” To build a new home in the New World: “…to plant the first colony in the northern parts…” To make a united form of government: “combine ourselves together into a civil body politic” To make only the laws that are good for everyone: “…make such just and equal laws… for the general good”

That first winter The Mayflower stays to provide shelter from the weather and protection from possibly fierce Indians while the Pilgrims begin the work of building the future town of Plymouth.

That first winter

Forty-seven die during the “General Sickness�

In March, 1621, the Pilgrims meet two unusual Indians… First Samoset… Then Squanto…

Who was Squanto? • An English-speaking Indian, who has been Captured in 1605 • Freed by Christians • Return to American in 1619

Who was Squanto? • The only remaining member of the fierce Pawtuxet tribe who once lived on the very land where the Pilgrims were now living. The rest of the tribe had died of disease while Squanto was in England.

Who was Squanto? • Someone who could teach them when and where to catch fish • Someone who could introduce them to local crops, such as corn, and teach them how to cultivate those crops

Who was Squanto? • Someone who was able to serve as translator between the Pilgrims and Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe (the nearest Indians to Plymouth)

With Squanto’s help a “Peace Treaty” is signed with the Wampanoag

The Pilgrims have a good harvest in 1621 With Squanto’s help and in peaceful co-existence with the Indians, the Pilgrims are able to grow enough to take them through the next winter.

In October, 1621, Governor Bradford declares a day of public Thanksgiving to God Massasoit is invited and arrives a day early with NINETY other Indians! The Indians go hunting and add 5 deer and more than 12 wild turkeys to the menu!

Thanksgiving Day s One day becomes three! The Pilgrims and the Indians spend time eating and playing -•Shooting contests with guns and bows



“For three days we entertained and feasted… …by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.” From a letter written by Edward Winslow to relatives in England

Their losses had been great Almost half of their original group had died in the previous year – including 14 of the 18 adult women who had come on the Mayflower.

And yet they gave thanks to God...


Friendship with Massasoit

“By providence” landing in an area with peaceful Indians A good harvest Land that was already cleared for planting when they arrived. A safe voyage from England The survival of almost half the group Squanto’s friendship and help

Accomplishments of the Pilgrims • • • •

Laid the foundation for religious freedom Made and kept treaties with the Indians Wrote the Mayflower Compact The Compact was later used as a guide for the United States Constitution • Began the tradition of the Thanksgiving Holiday

George Washington “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, …I do appoint Thursday, the 26 th day of November 1789…that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.”

Thomas Jefferson “I

appoint a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God…to ask Him that He would pour out His Holy Spirit, and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.”

Abraham Lincoln “We often forget the source from which the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies come. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God. I therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States to observe a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 After listing blessings that the nation was enjoying despite the fact that it was in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln said:

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy… I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Samuel Eliot Morison “Bradford’s history is a story of a simple people inspired by a deep faith…It is this story, told by a great human being, that has made the Pilgrims in a sense the spiritual ancestors of all Americans, of all pioneers.” Harvard University, March 1952

For what can we be thankful?

The horn of plenty called a cornucopia which means abundance.

The Bible Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Visiting an American Family 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

It may be new for your host Write down your name if they have difficulty It is ok to not eat food served to you American Families tend to be informal Smoking Policies Use the opportunity to exchange culture! Many Americans have pets Americans sometimes tell jokes Americans are open about ‘disagreeing’ Some families like to hug You are not expected to bring a gift.

Acceptable Practices 1. 2. 3. 4.

Ask to see the house Ask your host to repeat what they say Ask about viewpoints of Americans Ask for an extra blanket for your bed

Usually not acceptable 1. Don’t ask about ages, how much money they make, or why they have no children. Don’t ask how much their home costs. 2. Don’t stare at a person steadily 3. Don’t ask for financial or legal help

Thanksgiving foods • • • • • • •

Turkey (hen, geese, duck, or ham) Stuffing - bread & corn Mashed potatoes with Gravy Yams - Sweet Potato Cranberry Sauce Vegetables (asparagus, corn) Pies (Apple, Pumpkin, Mince Meat)

Eating Etiquettes (Manners) • • • • • • • • •

Wait for your host to pick up his/her fork before eating Don’t use your fork, knife or spoon to gesture. Butter bread on the plate, never in mid-air. Don't pick your teeth, apply lipstick, eat with your mouth open, or comb your hair at the table. When temporarily leaving the table, place your napkin on the seat or arm of your chair. Ask the host when desiring the bathroom. Put your cell phone on vibrate & answer it only if you have to When someone asks for salt or pepper, pass the two together. Put the napkin on the plate when you are done.

Christmas Party International students, visiting scholars and your families are invited!

Saturday, December 8 Meet at 5:20 PM, return around 9:30 PM

Sponsored by International Friendships, Inc. (IFI) Parkside Christian Church –delicious homemade dinner –drama and lots of beautiful Christmas music –other fun activities –time to just sit, talk, and relax after final exams

Reservations required - go to For more information, contact Pat Durst, 513-541-4192 or

Meet behind Morgens Residence Hall or at 510 Riddle Road to get a ride


DEC. 26, 2006 to JAN. 2, 2007 Cost $385 (plus additional money for 1 park entrance fees and 10 meals) Registration on first-come, first served basis. $25 late fee after 12/1 To register by December 1, go to and send payment of $385 to InterFACE, 3070 Palomino Trail, Mason, OH 45040 Trip includes – – – –

morning conference sessions 3 nights of Christian hospitality with a host family Sea World is paid for You may also choose to visit the Magic Kingdom (DisneyWorld) and EPCOT Center or Universal Studios is paid for

For more information, go to or contact Shaun Rudolph, 513-265-1957

Basketball Game Indiana Pacers vs Houston Rockets Friday, Feb 1st, 2008 , Meet at 3:30 PM at Morgan Dorm

see Yao Ming

$10 per seat [cheapest seats = high up] Additional small cost for transportation Please register at Give or mail check to Shaun Rudolph 3070 Palomino Trail Mason, OH 45040


Thanksging story for kids.

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