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America gives thanks for Thanksgiving

graphic by olivia lauter

graphic by olivia lauter

LeopardLife Ally Harris and Angelina Widmoser, Staff Writers

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With the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy, Thanksgiving can be seen celebrated by many people across America. The first Thanksgiving celebration began in 1621, but not until 1863 did it actually become holiday celebrated across the nation.

“The importance of Thanksgiving is to hang out with your family and be thankful for all your blessings,” Taylor Platz said.

On September, in the year of 1620, a small ship named the Mayflower left England for what is now America with 102 passengers. They were heading to the New World hoping to get land ownership and start a new life. The long, uncomfortable, and dangerous journey had lasted for sixty-six days until the ship reached Cape Cod, Massachusetts. One month later, the Mayflower had crossed Massachusetts Bay. At this time in the colonists’ lives, they started to establish their village in Plymouth. When the brutal winter arrived, most of the colonists stayed aboard the ship to get out of the cold, harsh air.  

“Thanksgiving has been carried on throughout history because it was just a time to see your family and I think that in history, a lot of people weren’t really close to their families, but Thanksgiving was a time for them to all relate. They came together to be thankful for their opportunities and traditions that have to do with their religions,”seventh- grader, Sydney Legg, said.

There still were many downsides for families staying aboard. For example, they caught many diseases so only about half of the people survived to see Spring. After the colonists were weakened by diseases, they came ashore and met the Native Americans. Although these pioneers went through plenty of hardship, people still celebrate their later success. The tradition started out very simple with the same food types. Over time this tradition has evolved from the pioneer state. Now some people do less traditional things.

“On Thanksgiving, we get together to eat some traditional food and watch football altogether. This is quality family time no matter how you spend it,” Isabella Ospina.

Squanto, the native American, taught the Pilgrims how to survive on this new continent. Squanto taught them how to grow corn, extract sap from trees, catch fish, and how to avoid dangerous and harmful plants. Overall, many people believe Thanksgiving is a fun time of the year that many families across Americans look forward to. They may be doing less traditional things, but they still have fun as families.

“I think the importance of Thanksgiving overall is to just be with family and talk about what you’ve been doing throughout the year. On Thanksgiving, everyone can just sit down and enjoy others’ company,” Elle Foster, eighth-grader said.

They grew a new crop that was successful when harvested in November 1621. At this time governor, William Bradford organized a celebratory feast inviting the settlers and Natives allies. The settlers were very thankful for the successful food harvest so this celebratory feast is known today as Thanksgiving.

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America gives thanks for Thanksgiving