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A Tradition To Be Thankful For

Tom Purcell on

I love pumpkin pie — but not just any pumpkin pie.

It has to be my mother’s pumpkin pie, made with her unique thick and dry crust, and it has to be enjoyed only on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s a Purcell family tradition, after all, and tradition is the reason Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday.

The very first recorded Thanksgiving occurred in November 1621 when the Plymouth colonists enjoyed their first corn harvest and invited the Wampanoag to share a three-day feast to give thanks for their bounty and to express their gratitude to the tribe for helping them adapt to, and survive in, the new land.

According to History.com, there’s some controversy over the first Thanksgiving.

Similar events may have taken place earlier in other parts of North America and, given the bloody conflict among Native Americans and European settlers that took place over many years, there’s also disagreement about how peaceful and friendly the first thanksgiving really was.

 

For the next few centuries, as America flourished, individual colonies and states celebrated various kinds of thanksgiving events.

It didn't become an official holiday until 1863, when, in the midst of the destructive Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

It didn’t take much time after that for Thanksgiving to evolve into its current customs and formalities.

My great grandfather, who came to America from Ireland in the 1880s and his wife, whose parents came from Alsace Lorraine, likely celebrated it the same way my extended family still celebrates it.

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Copyright 2021 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com
 

 

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