In 1621 the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians sat down to a feast considered the first Thanksgiving celebration in the colonies that would become the United States. The celebration occurred just a year after the colonists arrived at Plymouth.
A Thanksgiving celebration continued to be celebrated in the United States. In 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving holiday to be held each November. (Photo credit: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/11/26/happy-thanksgiving-4/)
It is believed that the colonists and Indians ate fowl and venison at the feast. There were likely no pies or desserts. There was no sugar available to the colonists though they likely had access to honey. There may have been corn bread, though it would have looked and tasted quite different from what we call corn bread today as they would not likely have had any wheat flour to put in it. They had fruit and especially berries. They likely had wild cranberries which is not a Thanksgiving staple.
See http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving for a full history of the holiday.
Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. For too many people Thanksgiving has become a holiday from work, a shopping day and a time to watch television. Being thankful is either an afterthought or is absent altogether.
This is sad because we have so much to be thankful for. Steve Pinker did a study on how violence has actually decreased in the world in modern times. He gave a talk on TED radio about it. Because we tend to focus on the bad news about violence we do not see that there is actually less of it.
The world has more freedom than it had just a generation ago. The massive oppressive communist blocks have faded away. There is more democracy in the world.
We are a more affluent world today. There are still problems with poverty for sure, but in fact there is less poverty in the world today than at any time in recent history.
The world is cleaner today thanks to a century of improvement in public sanitation. Medicine today treats thousands of diseases and conditions and prevents others.
The internet and the various devices that connect to it give us access to an almost infinite amount of information, goods and services. It allows us to communicate with ease in a number of different ways and socialize with people all over the world.
Improvements continue to be made in every sphere of our lives.
We have so much to be thankful for. In the world in general and in our own lives. Might this be a good time to reflect on that and be thankful?Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.