From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. First and foremost, turkey is the featured item in most Thanksgiving feasts (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes called "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, turnips, yams and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner.
History of Thanksgiving in the United States
The Virginia colony
A collective Thanksgiving prayer was held in the Virginia Colony on December 4, 1619, near the current site of Berkeley Plantation, where annual celebrations are still held on the first Sunday in November.
The early settlers of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts were particularly grateful to Squanto, the Native American who taught them how to catch eel, grow corn and who served as their native interpreter (as Squanto had learned English as a slave in Europe). Without Squanto's assistance, the settlers might not have survived in the New World.
The Plymouth settlers (who came to be called "Pilgrims") set apart a holiday immediately after their first harvest in 1621, when they held an autumn celebration of food, feasting, and praising God. The Native American chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset joined in the celebration with ninety of their men in the three-day event.
President Abraham Lincoln first declared Thanksgiving a Federal holiday..as a "prayerful day of Thanksgiving" on the last Thursday in November.
Modern Thanksgiving in the United States is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.