How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

November 16, 2020

THE first Thanksgiving took place in the New World in 1621.

The feast was not named so and did not inspire a national holiday for several centuries.

What happened during the first Thanksgiving?

Colonists from Plymouth, England, shared a feast with Native Americans in the New World in November of 1621.

It is believed the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts due to dwindling supplies that the Pilgrims brought on the Mayflower, according to

Dishes were likely prepared using Native American methods.

The Mayflower had left Plymouth in September of 1620.

How long did the first Thanksgiving last?

The "festival" lasted for three days, according to

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors," a man named Edward Winslow wrote.

Was turkey on the first Thanksgiving menu?

The Thanksgiving Turkey makes its way during the 81st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2007 in New York City

Now a Thanksgiving staple, it is not known if turkey was on the menu in 1621.

"Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird – whether roasted, baked or deep-fried – on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation," according to

"Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

"Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate."

Parades have also become a major Thanksgiving tradition, notably the Macy's march in New York City.

"They four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others.

"And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

When did Thanksgiving become a holiday?

President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 at the height of the Civil War.

His proclamation requested that all Americans ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation," according to

Thanksgiving would be scheduled for the final Thursday in every November, but President Franklin D Roosevelt moved up the holiday by a week during the Great Depression.

Roosevelt would later move the holiday back to its normal spot after "Franksgiving" was widely criticized.

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