Recently it occurred to me that my knowledge of the origins of Thanksgiving in America was sketchy at best.
I had the simplistic schoolgirl belief that Thanksgiving originated in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 when the English Pilgrims sat down with Squanto and a bunch of other Wampanoag Indians and had one great big happy feast.
I thought we Americans had merrily celebrated in the same way for the next 392 years or so, except with more football and fewer Indians.
Like most things in life, the real story is considerably more complicated.
To begin with, the idea of holding a feast of thanks for a good harvest was not something new. Many cultures throughout history have held feasts and banquets honoring their individual deities or simply being thankful for the bounty.
Then there are numerous other claims on the holiday. Texans claim that the explorer Coronado hosted the first thanksgiving in May of 1541.
Others believe that the “real” first Thanksgiving took place…
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