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The First Thanksgiving


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• Part 2: The Rest of the Story

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The first Thanksgiving was probably not what we think it was.

The Thanksgiving we now celebrate--a feast of togetherness between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans--was not the original gathering.

It is true that Squanto and his fellow Native Americans helped the Pilgrims to grow crops and get sap from trees and survive the harsh winters of what would become New England. But the very first harvest feast that these two peoples enjoyed was not called Thanksgiving.

Rather it was a celebration of the fall harvest, when vegetables were pulled from the ground and off stalks and made ready for a big meal.

Pilgrims and Native Americans dined together at the same tables, yes, and they played games together and demonstrated their bow-and-arrow and musket-shooting skills to each other. But they didn't call it Thanksgiving until 1624.

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