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The Thanksgiving Story

The feast

Though it was not called Thanksgiving at the time, what we recognize as the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated in 1621 by the pilgrims of the Plymouth colony along with about 90 Wampanoag Indians. The Pilgrims had suffered through a devastating winter in which nearly half their number died. Without the help of the Indians, all would have perished.
pilgrims

After the first harvest, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer to God. The food, which was eaten outdoors, included corn, geese, turkeys, ducks, eel, clams, leeks, plums, cod, bass, barley, venison and corn bread. The feast lasted 3 days. Though the exact date is unknown, the feast clearly took place in late autumn.
cornucopia

In 1623, a period of drought was answered by colonists with a proclamation of prayer and fasting. This prayer and fasting was changed to another thanksgiving celebration when rains came during the prayers. Later that year, Governor Bradford proclaimed November 29 as a time for pilgrims to gather and "listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings." George Washington

Throughout American history, there were many thanksgiving proclamations and celebrations. In 1789 George Washington proclaimed a National Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday in November, in honor of the new United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, the third president, later discontinued it, calling it "a kingly practice." Abraham Lincoln

In 1863, Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb," convinced Abraham Lincoln to proclaim Thanksgiving a national holiday. For the date she chose the last Thursday in November because of Washington's proclamation. In 1941, it was officially changed to the fourth Thursday in November.

All of the early Thanksgiving celebrations had one thing in common. The thanksgiving was directed toward God. It did not matter that many had very hard times. The people knew that God was their creator and provider and that all good things ultimately came from Him. It is in this spirit that we bring you the following passages from God's Word:



Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
--1 Chronicles 16:8

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
-- Psalm 100:4

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
--Psalm 105:1

He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
--Romans 14:6

Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
-- 1 Corinthian 15:57

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
--Colossians 3:17

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
--1 Thessalonians 5:18


Read thanksgiving proclamations by:


Children prayingKids shaking hands

George Washington
William Bradford
Abraham Lincoln





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Cheyenne Evangelical Free Church
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