Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The first Thanksgiving is something that’s ingrained into the American educational system.

Most of us have some memories of the black construction paper hats with a buckle or the multi-colored Indian headdress. You could put those on just about anytime of the year and most people would know you were either a Pilgrim or a Native American.

Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.

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The 1620 voyage from England to America was more than 3,000 miles and beset by autumn storms.

The Pilgrims arrived in the New World during the winter, making it very difficult for them to find food and build shelter.

Already weakened by their two-month voyage, most of the passengers failed to survive the first few months in their new home.

Fortunately, native people called Wampanoag, or “eastern peoples,” already lived in the Massachusetts Bay area. They shared their knowledge of local crops and navigation with the “coat-men,” as they called the English, and helped the colonists survive.

From there a cooperative relationship was formed, which culminated with the Thanksgiving Feast as we knew it as school children.

As you settle around your tables with those you love today, think about all the things you’re thankful for and the things that have blessed your life.

We hope you enjoy your holiday and Happy Thanksgiving.