The History of Thanksgiving

As we come upon the Thanksgiving holiday in the coming days, we should all remember and reflect on what Thanksgiving is all about.   It’s amazing to me how far we’ve come from the tradition of Thanksgiving and what its original meaning was.  Originally Thanksgiving was set up as a day of prayer and thankfulness to God Almighty.  Some textbooks today in our own country teach that the original Thanksgiving was about being thankful to the native Indians for teaching us how to make food and how to grow corn, etc.  That simply is not true.  I’ve included a link below which shares some of the history of Thanksgiving.  Although the Pilgrims, the original Separatists, were thankful to the Indians for teaching them those things I’ve mentioned, they knew ultimately where all their blessings came from which is God Almighty, and that is who we need to be thankful for.   Let’s talk about those things and praise God and thank Him on this wonderful day, and every day.

God Bless, Tim Marks


3 thoughts on “The History of Thanksgiving”

  1. You are right on Tim regarding searching out the true history of Thanksgiving. Until recently, I didn’t even realize that a monument exists to those who came to Plymouth, MA on the Mayflower. It was originally called the Pilgrim Monument and is now known as the National Monument to the Forefathers. This is a marvelous masterpiece & I plan to take my children there one day. The central figure of the monument is Faith! Faith has her hand pointed towards heaven in thanksgiving to God Almighy! Here’s a wonderful article about the monument: The monument is quite fascinating.

  2. Tim,
    Thanks for always bringing out the TRUTH:)! It strikes me that the one day a year that people set aside for family and saying “Thank you,” is now being encroached upon on both ends as “Black Friday starts Wednesday!” or “Black Friday hours open Thursday [THANKSgiving] at 6pm!”
    It’s like the devil can’t stand a family sitting around and focusing thanks and praise to the God Almighty and so he does his best to turn our hearts back to gimme-gimme-make-material-things-distract-me-from-God as soon as possible.
    It makes words like yours all the more valuable: It is not “thanks to Indians” (though we are thankful they taught us how to grow corn); it is not “thanks to turkeys” (though they gave their lives for us); it IS Thanks to God Almighty, Creator of the universe!

  3. I agree with Terri wholeheartedly! It’s amazing when I think back through the few years that I’ve been blessed with life and realize how much materialism has creeped into Thanksgiving and the weekend following it (amongst other Christian celebrations like Christmas and Easter) where many have been given the opportunity to invest time with their family and thank God for that time as well. It appears the focus on marterialism fortifying itself within families in the U.S. and Canada. Why has it become okay to focus on materialism? Are people prioritizing materialism to escape their obligations?

    Henry Hazlitt (one of Orrin Woodward’s favorite authors on economics) wrote an interesting article in 1968 called “Instead of Famine – Thanksgiving”. Hazlitt shares some of Governor William Bradford’s history of the Plymouth Bay Colony (Bradford was the first Governor of the Plymouth Bay Colony). Hazlitt describes that at first the Pilgrims set up a rationing system from a common storehouse, essentially a communist system. The Pilgrims did not work very hard during those first growing seasons in 1621 and 1622 for “[the] people complained that they were too weak from want of food to tend to the crops as they should”. Hazlitt also states “[deeply] religious though they were, they took to stealing from one another”. Can a harvest truly be bountiful if the proper steps cannot be taken in raising the crops or if people are focused on the wrong priorities (that of stealing what others have)? I personally think not.

    Hazlitt continues, in 1623 it was decided that each family could have a parcel of land of their own and they each would be allowed to grow their own corn. Each families’ prioriy was then on supporting their own livelihoods, not on defending the minimal food that was available. As their priorities shifted, God allowed the harvest to be bountiful and the Pilgrims were thankful!

    Bringing this back around to Thanksgiving today, can a family stay focused on their priorities with materialism is bombarding them through so many media sources like television, radio, newspaper, online advertisements? What is the bounty they are looking to reap through materialism? Is it gratification? If so, they are looking in the wrong place as many will spend money they don’t have, creating additional debt in their lives, forcing them to live their obligations of paying off their debt(s), not their priorities.

    Well I for one am thankful to be a part of LIFE which gives people the opportunity to live their priorities versus living their obligations and then fitting their priorities in. LIFE also has the best media sources like Rascal Radio for helping people to learn how to live their priorites. Thank you to the founder’s of LIFE for making this possible. God Bless, Ben

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