Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving History Recap

Imagine this: It's September in the year 1620 and you are one of 102 passengers onboard a small ship called "The Mayflower." You leave Plymouth, England in search of religious freedom and the lure of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. "It's gonna' be so awesome there!" you convince yourself.
Your ship finally drops anchor at the tip of Cape Cod - way north of your original destination of the mouth of the Hudson River, but hey, the anchor is dropped and that in itself is a relief after 66 looooong days at sea. It's November now, and super cold, so you and the rest of your travel mates remain on the ship throughout the winter.
When spring is sprung, you're one of the lucky passengers that survived winter. Half of your travel mates perished during the harsh winter months, dying from exposure, scurvy and other diseases. So in March of 1621, those of you that remain decide to move yourselves off the ship and onto shore.
In a random act of crazy luck, you guys meet a Native American named Squanto. Squanto is about to become your New World hero because not only does he speak English {he'd been previously kidnapped by an English sea captain, spent some time in London, came back to his homeland...}, but he knows how to grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, and he's got some mad fishing skillz.
You and your homeys hang with Squanto, and by November of that year you throw a big ol' party to celebrate your first harvest of corn! You invite some Native American allies that show up to the party with five deer, and you guys celebrate and eat for three whole days!
You work hard, you play hard, and a couple of years later (in 1623) you host another feast to celebrate the end of a drought. Celebrating rain and a bountiful harvest on a regular basis is starting to sound like a great idea...
Around 1827, this writer chick named Sarah Josepha Hale starts writing letters and basically hounding all the politicians she can find. She writes countless editorials for her magazine, and tons of letters until she finally gets the attention of Abraham Lincoln, our country's 16th President. In 1863, President Lincoln signs a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as a day to "heal the wounds of our nation" - a day to focus on the act of being grateful. {PS: Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote the children's nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" which I think is totally cool. I bet she would have been an awesome blogger!}

In November 2013, you're invited over to our house for what is now a traditional American Thanksgiving feast. We'll cook a turkey, and Doug might even have deer meat. Carrie will bring mashed potatoes and a one-cup salad, and I'm making the trimmings: gravy, cornbread dressing, green beans, my mom's yeast rolls, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our feast won't last for three days, but maybe the leftovers will, and we'll celebrate and give thanks for our good fortune.
I hope this day finds you surrounded by people you are thankful for,
and I also hope it includes pumpkin pie.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends!
Historical information contained in this post was found here.
I made this gratitude banner a few years ago out of burlap and felt. The letters were added with brown acrylic paint stenciled through the negative image of some chipboard letters I have.


Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Deb xx

PS Thanks for the History lesson!

Becky said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and a great history lesson!

Susi said...

Happy a Thanksgiving! Love the history lesson and the banner!

Ruth said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, friend. x

scrappyjacky said...

Thanks for the interesting piece of history,Deb.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Audrey said...

Deb, hope you've had a beautiful Thanksgiving ~ loved this post!!!

Karen said...

What a fun post! Yes, we had pumpkin pie, but since we didn't eat here there are no leftovers. Sad!!! But we had a fabulous day with family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Amy said...

Happy Thanksgiving to the Turtle household :)

Sian said...

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Your banner is beautiful.

Before the children were born, we spent a holiday around Cape Cod and were lucky enough to visit the Plimoth Plantation and the replica of the Mayflower. I've never forgotten it.what they went through..

debs14 said...

Happy thanksgiving! You can't begin to imagine what they thought when they landed. Because I've been to Plymouth UK and I'm pretty sure it's very different to where they ended up!

Maria Ontiveros said...

And here's my favorite Thankgiving joke:
Why couldn't the Pilgrim keep his pants on?
Because he was wearing his belt on his hat!
Guaranteed to get a few groans.

Anonymous said...

What a great looking banner Deb. Belated Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you had a great day.

Lisa-Jane said...

Thank you! I really learned something then because I thought the Mayflower set sail from Southampton. It sort of started in London, then Southampton, then Dartmouth and then back again and finally from Plymouth eventually for the long haul. Our local theatre is called Mayflower and there are many many references to it here and Pilgrims Way and stuff like that. I cant imagine how it all began there!

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