A Historical Harvest

The Lodi Rampage interviewed some students around the school to see whether they actually knew the history of Thanksgiving. Watch the video to hear their responses! If you’re interested in the actual origin of the holiday to compare to student responses, read below:

The origin of Thanksgiving stems back to 1620. Late that year, the Mayflower left England with over 100 passengers on board. Some of them sought religious freedom in the new world and others simply were drawn by stories of the prosperity one could achieve in America. When they arrived, they found themselves off course, near the tip of Cape Cod. They had been navigating for the Hudson River. They setup the colony at Plymouth on the other side of the bay over a month later. The settlers were ill prepared for the harsh New England winter and by the time spring came, they were down to about half of their original settlers alive.

That spring they met a Native American who spoke English. He introduced them to Squanto, the famous English speaking Indian who helped the settlers stay alive. He showed the otherwise hopeless settlers how to fish and hunt as well as how to grow corn and tell edible plants from poisonous ones. Squanto introduced the settlers to a friendly local tribe called the Wampanoag. With the help of the Native Americans the settlers prospered and later that year, in November of 1621 the settlers were ready to celebrate the successful harvest of their first crop of corn. The settlers invited many of their Indian allies to the party. The celebration of that first harvest lasted three days and many dishes came from, both, the settlers as well as Native American cuisine. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November!