It's Time To Remember : The Origin of Thanksgiving

The origin of the present American Thanksgiving is from the 1621 observation of a thanksgiving and harvest feast by the Plymouth settlers in Massachusetts.

On September 6, 1620, there were slightly more than a hundred people on The Mayflower leaving Plymouth, England to the New world. During a little more than two months at sea, the ship made the treacherous voyage from England to the coast of Massachusetts. The storms of the north Atlantic were so fierce and the icy winds wailed with them. Many were sick and had terrifying nights. Finally, they landed, but more than half of them died during that first winter from disease and hunger.

American natives helped and taught them how to harvest the land, but the yield was not sufficient until the next year. They prayed for the mercy of God. When a sufficient harvest was gathered that fall, they gathered and invited Indians friends and indeed gave thanks to God together. Not only was it an occasion to thank the Lord for their food, but it was time to remember their purpose for coming to the new land, for the glory of God and their Christian faith.

In 1777, in the midst of the American Revolution, the first "official" national Thanksgiving celebration was proclaimed by the new nation. Later, George Washington of the new Federal government,, issued the first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation as a day for giving thanks to God, a day that the people of United States can observe a day of public thanksgiving and prayer for the signal favors of Almighty God and his watch and care over the nation.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made his declaration of Thanksgiving in the darkest days of Civil War. In 1941 as the war clouds of World War II gathered over the nation, Congress eventually established Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.

Starting from our Puritan forefathers, Thanksgiving has been the day of remembering God's protection and blessings even in the darkest moment of the Revolution, the Civil War, and World War. It is the time to pause and be reminded of God's blessings and give thanks to God. Thanksgiving is a truly beautiful tradition of our nation and a privilige as a Christian.