President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving official in 1863. He proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be “a national day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. Weak and sick – they began to die. The Pilgrims needed help to survive and they got it from an English-speaking Indian named Squanto.
Historian Peter Marshall explained, “Here comes this American Indian suddenly who speaks perfect English, who offers them his services. So they plant all this corn under his tutelage. In October the corn is ripe finally, and they want to have a celebration, a Thanksgiving celebration.”
Marshall continued, “So they invite Chief Massasoit, who had taken Squanto in when he had no family, no relatives. So Massasoit and 90 braves show up for this celebration festival, and they had a three day celebration of feasting, bow-and-arrow shooting contests, foot races and relay races and games.”
“They looked at everything as a gift from God, even the sorrowful things they saw as God allowing that to perfect their character. So they were amazing Christians and great examples for us today,” Rev. Paul Jehle said.
I was lucky enough to attend Catholic School where the meaning of Thanksgiving was taught. We were told the facts and then sent out to serve the community in order to give thanks for all of the wonderful things that God gave us. The elderly, the disabled, children in hospitals etc. Anyone who wants to be a legal immigrant in this wonderful country should know this stuff!
Unfortunately, alot of people in this country are suffering at the present time and do not have the ingredients for a “Thanksgiving Feast.” If you can, there are food pantries all over the U.S. and at various religious institutions accepting food donations for complimentary Turkey Baskets to feed these families.