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Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

by Maryann Pisano on November 25, 2013

  • In England, some people did not like the way King Henry ran his Anglican church.  These people separated themselves from him, and were persecuted, so they wanted to leave England.
  • They wanted to journey to America, where they could practice their Christian faith freely.  They were called Pilgrims, because they journeyed for a religious purpose.
  • In September 1620, they boarded the Mayflower ship and began their journey to America.
  • During their first winter of 1620, almost half of the Pilgrims died.  In the Spring of 1621, two Native Americans named Squanto and Samoset became friends with the colonists and helped them.
  • The Native Americans and the colonists who lived in the Massachusetts area signed a peace treaty.
  • In November 1621, Governor Bradford organized the celebration feast and invited the Wam-pa-noag Native Americans.  The Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
  • A woman named Sarah Hale started a Thanksgiving campaign, and as a result of her efforts, Thanksgiving became a national holiday of Thanksgiving and prayer in 1863.
  • Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the last day of November.

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