Thanksgiving: 1620 to today

Leo Bessler

In October of 1620, a group of religious refugees fled the Church of England and its tyrannical rule in search of a new life where they could freely practice their religion and way of life.

After a long and arduous first winter, nearly half of the pilgrims died of disease and exposure. The following spring, many pilgrims went ashore where they were greeted by English speaking native Americans from the Abenaki and pawtuxet tribes. Squanto, the famous Patuxet tribe member,  helped the malnourished and suffering pilgrims survive through hunting, harvesting, and fishing. After the first successful corn harvest, the Pilgrims celebrated with the Indians a feast that lasted for three days.

Over two centuries later, during the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Today, families gather from all across the country to share each other’s presence and celebrate their bond. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 and recent restrictions, indoor gatherings were banned this year.

Junior Theo Weymiller reacted to this statement by saying, “It really is too bad that we can not come together this year like in years past. Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays.”

However, if families are willing to brave the nasty weather, family members from outside the house can come together as long as it is done outside. No matter the circumstances, this year’s Thanksgiving still gave families valuable time to reflect and come together to find hope in these trying times.