The History Of Thanksgiving: What High School Students Should Know

The History Of Thanksgiving: What High School Students Should Know

May 23, 2023
Deepak Jain

Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday that is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November. The holiday has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century when the Pilgrims arrived in the New World. It has evolved over time to become a symbol of gratitude and unity. In this blog post, we will explore the history of Thanksgiving and what high school students should know about this important holiday.

The First Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims, who were a group of English Separatists seeking religious freedom, had arrived in Plymouth the previous year. They had faced many challenges, including harsh winters and disease, but had managed to establish a settlement with the help of local Native American tribes.

The first Thanksgiving celebration was a three-day feast that was attended by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. The feast included wild game, seafood, and vegetables that had been harvested from the surrounding area. The celebration was a symbol of the Pilgrims' gratitude for their survival and their friendship with the Native Americans.

Thanksgiving Becomes an Official Holiday

Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday. Lincoln was prompted to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday after a long campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale, who was the editor of a popular women's magazine. Hale had been campaigning for a national holiday for more than 20 years, and her efforts finally paid off when Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Thanksgiving Traditions

Over time, Thanksgiving has become associated with several traditions that are observed by families and communities across the United States. One of the most popular traditions is the Thanksgiving meal, which typically includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Many families also participate in parades and other community events on Thanksgiving Day.

Another popular tradition associated with Thanksgiving is the pardoning of a turkey by the President of the United States. This tradition dates back to 1947, when President Harry Truman pardoned a turkey that was meant to be Thanksgiving dinner. Since then, every President has pardoned a turkey on Thanksgiving Day, and the pardoned turkey is sent to live out the rest of its life on a farm.

The Importance of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an important holiday because it is a time for people to come together and express their gratitude for the blessings in their lives. It is a time for families and friends to gather and share a meal, and to reflect on the things that they are thankful for.

Thanksgiving is also important because it celebrates the history and traditions of the United States. It is a reminder of the Pilgrims' journey to the New World and the struggles that they faced to establish a settlement. It is also a reminder of the importance of unity and friendship, as demonstrated by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who came together to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.

Teaching Thanksgiving in High School

As high school students learn about American history and culture, it is important for them to learn about the history and traditions of Thanksgiving. Teachers can use a variety of resources to teach students about Thanksgiving, including historical documents, videos, and books.

One way to teach students about Thanksgiving is to have them read primary source documents, such as letters and diaries written by the Pilgrims. These documents can provide a firsthand account of the Pilgrims' journey and their experiences in the New World.

Another way to teach students about Thanksgiving is to have them watch historical reenactments or documentaries. These resources can provide students with a visual representation of the Pilgrims' journey and the first Thanksgiving celebration.

About Omella

With Omella, high school clubs can easily collect donations and raise funds. The platform alsooffers various tools to help set up a fundraiser, track donations, and share club campaigns with the community.

In addition to fundraising, Omella also makes it easy to manage club forms and collect digital signatures from club members. Whether it's permission slips, registration forms, or waivers, you can upload and share your forms with members, who can easily fill them out and sign them online.

One of the biggest benefits of Omella is its user-friendly interface, which is designed to be easy for both, club leaders and members. You can set up your account and start using the platform in minutes, without the need for any technical expertise or training.

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