Over the past week I have received several messages from readers expressing interest in the Thanksgiving events and traditions that I mentioned briefly in a recent blog post. In response, I’d like to share a few more photos and facts about that aspect of American cultural heritage.
The roots of our Thanksgiving holiday trace back to 1621 and the English settlers known as the Pilgrims. The provisions that the settlers brought from England proved wholly insufficient to get them through their first winter in the new world, and they faced starvation. Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans, kept them alive by donating substantial amounts of food. Squanto, a Patuxet Native American, taught the settlers to fend for themselves by catching eel and cultivating the “three sisters” of new world agriculture — beans, maize, and squash.