I absolutely LOVE The History Channel. Even my sons will ask to watch programs on it, and I know they are learning. They strive to be as accurate as possible which is what I find to be the best aspect of their programs. Below is an article that comes from The History Channel website. I want to make sure everyone has access to learning about the first Thanksgiving to share with your family. You can find all of the below info here: http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving
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The MayflowerIn November 1620, the Mayflower landed at Cape Cod, carrying passengers who created the first lasting European settlement in New England.
The PilgrimsIn late 1620, the Mayflower landed near Plymouth, Massachusetts; its passengers, known as the Pilgrims, would found the first permanent European settlement in New England.
Plymouth ColonyThe first permanent European settlement in New England, Plymouth was founded by a group of religious separatists who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.
Thanksgiving: Fact or FictionHow much do you really know about Thanksgiving?
Did You Know?
Lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims' menu.
Thanksgiving at Plymouth
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.
Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
More From History.com
- 5 Things You May Not Know About the Pilgrims(History in the Headlines)
- History of Thanksgiving (Video)
- Thanksgiving Becomes a Holiday (Video)
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