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The True Meaning of Thanks

The History of Thanksgiving Throughout the Generations

The+First+Thanksgiving+1621%2C+oil+on+canvas+by+Jean+Leon+Gerome+Ferris+%281899%29.
The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899).

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899).

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899).

Quan Nguyen, Staff Writer

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Almost 394 Years later after the first Plymouth Thanksgiving many American families still celebrate the occasion by feasting on delicious food and talking to family members.

The history of Thanksgiving travels back many years ago to that of the first Pilgrims that traveled towards the new world. The settlers of Plymouth would establish that of a colony and proceed to grow in numbers through the years. Eventually both the colonists of Plymouth and the natives of Wampanoag Tribe would come together to feast on a large bounty of food for the next 3 days.

The festival of Thanksgiving first revolved around the practice of prayer to god for good harvests within the New World. The United States first adopted the initial meaning of Thanksgiving in the year 1789 by president George Washington. This would be celebrated as a federal holiday for the years to come until the year 1863 during the American Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln in which he ordered a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise”.

Thanksgiving over the years has evolved from that of praising God to that of giving thanks to family and friends. The tradition itself still consists of sharing food and stories, but the actual true reason of Thanksgiving seems to have lost its true meaning since many families don’t  have the need to actually harvest their own crops and food from the previous season.

With time passing also comes the passing of newer traditions being the of the newly adopted “Black Friday” taking place during Thanksgiving. Such events and holidays lose their intended purpose as the years and generations go on but even if Thanksgiving changes dramatically over the next hundred years or so, we’ll still be there to celebrate it.

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