The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in December of 1620 found the New World much different than they had expected. Amid the hard New England winter, 46 of the 121 persons who made the voyage perished. But the fall of 1621 brought a bountiful harvest, giving those who remained a change to survive the coming winter. The surviving Pilgrims, along with 91 Native American guests celebrated the first Thanksgiving with wild game and vegetables.
Throughout Colonial history, similar Thanksgiving celebrations occurred whenever settlers felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward God. In fact, George Washington even declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1789. Still, Thanksgiving did not become a regular holiday until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill proclaiming the last Thursday of each November to be Thanksgiving Day. In 1941, Congress amended the law to make the fourth Thursday of each November Thanksgiving.(source: www.theholidayzone.com)
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