History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite holidays to celebrate. But do you really know the history of the first Thanksgiving?

Many people know that the first Thanksgiving involved Pilgrims and Native Americans. As it turns out, there is an elaborate story that involves the unity of the two groups.

Thanksgiving - Bill Walsh Toyota - Ottawa, IL

In September 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, and landed in Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims onboard established a village that they called Plymouth.

Unfortunately, the New England winter was rough on the Pilgrims, especially for those who stayed on the ship. Only about half of the Pilgrims survived through March, by which time the survivors had moved ashore.

During the month of March, an Abenaki Indian paid the settlers a visit, greeting them in English. He returned just a few days later with Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had escaped slavery and found his way back to his tribe.

Despite Squanto’s horrible experience with Englishmen, he helped the Pilgrims by teaching them how to cultivate corn, extract sap, and catch fish. Not only did Squanto teach them how to sustain life in their new land, he also helped them make an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe.

By the time November of 1621 came, the Pilgrims had their first corn harvest (thanks to Squanto). The Pilgrims celebrated the harvest alongside their Native American allies. This is what is known as the “First Thanksgiving.”

We at Bill Walsh Toyota wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.