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EDU 362 Fact Sheet - The Truth About the First Thanksgiving
Transcript of EDU 362 Fact Sheet - The Truth About the First Thanksgiving
but the Pilgrims. Our modern celebration of Thanksgiving dates back to only 1863. During the Civil War, the Union needed all the patriotism that such a celebration might muster, so... Not until the 1890s did the Pilgrims become included in the celebration. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. What is "Thanksgiving?" In the United States:
It is the fourth Thursday in November In Canada:
It is the second Monday in October Thanksgiving commemorates a feast held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. "Today is a time for celebrating for you... but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People... the Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans... Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers... little knowing that... before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags... and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them... Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts... What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important."
A speech prepared by Frank James to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims' landing. The Massachusetts Department of Commerce would not allow him to read it. Native Americans and non-Native allies did not take this censorship and suppression of Frank James's speech lying down. That year (1970) and every November since they have organized a counter event to the traditional Thanksgiving celebration - "the National Day of Mourning."