Traditionally, the first Thanksgiving is marked as the 1621 feast between Plymouth colonist and Wampanoag Indians, but their Thanksgiving feast barely resembles what we call Thanksgiving today.
Colonist were dependent on what they could grow or catch themselves and couldn’t simply drive down to the grocery store for a can of cranberry sauce. That first meal included venison meat, wild fowl, lobster and fish. More than likely, very few desserts were passed around.
Historians are not certain if cranberries were served at that first meal, but the berry is only one of three fruits that grow naturally in North America. The other two are blueberries and Concord grapes.
President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday in November as the day of Thanksgiving in 1863. He was persuaded to do so by Sarah Hale, the author of “Mary had a Little Lamb.”
Congress decided the day needed to be a national holiday in 1941 and people officially began observing the day as a day away from work and school and at home with family.
One of the greatest Thanksgiving traditions began in 1934 when the first football game was broadcast.
Many traditions continue today and have continued to see changes. While most families still carve a turkey for their dinner table, some have taken to fajita dinners or potlucks.