The common narrative of Thanksgiving is one that talks about the story of the Pilgrims and their voyage to the New World. However, many people have argued that this is not the real story of how the holiday came to be. There are different records of celebrations that Thanksgiving might have evolved from, and there is much controversy on which of these Thanksgiving really originated from.
We’ve all been told the story of the pilgrims of Plymouth and how they created Thanksgiving. This story is one of many narratives of Thanksgiving’s origination. In September 1620, a ship known as the Mayflower sailed from England on its course to the New World. The passengers aboard the ship reached the New World and started setting up a village at Plymouth.
The voyagers went ashore in March after winter. The Pilgrims soon met Squanto, a Native American. Squanto taught the Pilgrims important skills and helped them forge an alliance with a local tribe, the Wampanoag. In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest, Governor William Bradford invited his Native American allies to a feast with the rest of the pilgrims.
According to “The Atlantic”, there may be different mistakes encompassing the retelling of American history. This might also include the retelling of the first Thanksgiving.
Another story of how this holiday started began with John Winthrop, the Massachusetts Colony governor in 1637. A group of colonial volunteers had traveled to Mystic, Connecticut to murder 700 Pequot Indians. When the group returned safely, John Winthrop said that it was such a “Thanksgiving” to celebrate the safe return of the volunteers.
About 380 years later, the United American Indians of New England now meet at Plymouth Rock on top of Cole’s Hill for a Day of Mourning. The group remembers the 700 Pequot indigenous people that were murdered on that day of “Thanksgiving.”
There is much controversy about when the first Thanksgiving occurred, and historians have recorded other ceremonies to show thanks of European settlers in North America that have happened before the feast with the Pilgrims that might be the origination of this holiday. The first story about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans might even be entirely made up.
In the present day, Thanksgiving lives on. The tradition of Thanksgiving has now turned into one of coming together with your friends and family and eating delicious foods. So the next time you celebrate the holiday in whatever way, think about the origin of Thanksgiving.