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Happy Thanksgiving America

Posted by cotojo on November 21, 2007

Mayflower Steps, Plymouth, UK

The Pilgrim Fathers – later to become known as The Pilgims – set sail from Plymouth on 16th September 1620 in the ‘Mayflower’ captained by Myles Standish and steered a course for Virginia. The ship was a double-decked, three-masted vessel. However, a storm blew them off course and they reached land at Cape Cod which they subsequently renamed Plymouth Rock. Anchor was dropped on November 21st 1620.
The Plaque below reads:
On the 6th of September 1620, the Mayorality of Thomas Townes after being kindly entertained and courteously used by divers Friends there dwelling, the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth in the Mayflower in the Providence of God to settle in New Plymouth and to lay the foundations of the New England States The ancient Cawsey whence they embarked was destroyed not many Years afterwards but the Site of their Embarkation is marked by the Stone bearing the name of the MAYFLOWER in the pavement of the adjacent Pier.

The Mayflower Plaque, UK

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.  This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans.  Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops.  Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1942 designating the fourth Thursday in November (which is not always the last Thursday) as Thanksgiving Day.
As the country became more urban and family members began to live farther apart, Thanksgiving became a time to gather together.  The holiday moved away from its religious roots to allow immigrants of every background to participate in a common tradition.
Thanksgiving Day football games, beginning with Yale versus Princeton in 1876, enabled fans to add some rowdiness to the holiday.  In the late 1800s parades of costumed revelers became common.  In 1920 Gimbel’s department store in Philadelphia staged a parade of about 50 people with Santa Claus at the rear of the procession.  Since 1924 the annual Macy’s parade in New York City has continued the tradition, with huge balloons since 1927.  The holiday associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans has come to symbolize intercultural peace, America’s opportunity for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family.
Happy Thanksgiving,  I wish you all a wonderful time with your family, spending precious time with those nearest and dearest to you.

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13 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving America”

  1. cotojo said

    Sandy – You’re most welcome 🙂

    Yes they were a stubborn group indeed, maybe it was fortunate that the ‘Speedwell’ couldn’t accompany the ‘Mayflower’ too lol
    Have a great week 🙂
    Colin

  2. Thanks for remembering us.

    The Pilgrims were stubborn rascals, to be sure.

  3. cotojo said

    Hawk – Thank you so much 🙂
    It’s nice to look into the background of such events, and I am fortunate as I spent many years in the area and also worked next door to the house in which the Pilgim Fathers stayed prior to their departure for what was then called ‘The New World’. There is an abundance of history regarding the events prior to their departure and of course the voyage and arrival.

    Have a great weekend 🙂
    Colin

  4. Hawk said

    Colin, this was a most thoughtful post. I dare say the number us so-called Americans could recount such historical events. It’s refreshing to see a Brit, extend such a courteous reminders to us Yanks. It is abundantly appreciated, for if we do not understand our history from whence we came; we have no future.

    My heartfelt gratitude!

  5. cotojo said

    Rolando – You’re most welcome 🙂
    There is another plaque there now so next time I’m that way I’ll have to get some more pics taken.
    Hope you feel better before your Thanksgiving celebration begins, it’s never good when under the weather. Enjoy and have a great time.

    Sadly, we don’t celebrate it in the UK, maybe it’s something they should consider 🙂

    All the best
    Colin

  6. Rolando said

    Thanks for the background Colin. I never knew that there was such a plaque. Thanksgiving for us will begin in about 2 hours. Unfortunately I’m feeling under the weather, but I’m sure seeing and smelling the food at my brothers will bring me back to life.

    Hope you have a great one!

  7. cotojo said

    Billy – Pepys Diary is a great insight to the 16oo’s too. With that and the information left by the Pilgrim Fathers quite a lot is known. There was a sister ship to the Mayflower, the Speedwell, which didn’t make sail at the time due to it falling apart.

    We could use some of that gorgeous weather, having had a somewhat short summer with sun, for the most part it was wet and now it is back to stormy weather….at least I only have to get my rowing boat out so I’m ready lol

    Have a great day
    Colin

  8. […] here to […]

  9. Interesting history*

    I love that http://www.pepysdiary.com/ which was in the 1600’s too*

    a Brilliantly Funny Read*

    ;))

    I’m still Stuffed from our Canadian Thanksgiving in October* The weather was absolutely gorgeous all weekend up in the 80’s – Normally we have Football Kennedy Style Weather!!

    Happy Thanksgiving + Peace from Canada*

  10. cotojo said

    Marzie – Happy Thanksgiving to you too 🙂

    No big fat turkey for me…we don’t celebrate it in the UK, we’re a bit backward when it comes to celebrating compared to many countries 😦

    Colin

  11. Happy Thanksgiving! Are u gonna have a nice big fat turkey? 🙂

  12. cotojo said

    Maunie – Thank you for your comment 🙂

    I used to work in an Elizabethan Restaurant in Plymouth which was next door to the house that the Pilgrim Fathers stayed in prior to leaving and the Mayflower Steps were only a short distance away. There’s quite a lot of history in the area, and the house they stayed in has been preserved as a museum and is quite fascinating.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂
    Colin

  13. About a month ago I read the Mayflower…I did learn lots of interesting things and had not realized the influence the Indians had on the pilgrams…we had thanksgiving about ten years ago in plymouth plantation where all is prepared as it used to be…interesting but primative…I must be a tiny bit spoiled…okay maybe a lot spoiled but eating sitting at long wood tables and using sort of crude instraments was not all that comfortable… and I felt their pain… lol it was a wonderful experience and the children adored it…great post…

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