Get to Know Thanksgiving
By edhat staff
The Thanksgiving holiday is a bit more than just turkey and pie, it's a historical event that began with the settlers of the Plymouth Colony and their Wampanoag tribe predecessors in 1621.
According to history, the colonists and natives shared an autumn harvest feast, and for more than two centuries, days of "thanksgiving" were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
While the feast between the colonists and Wampanoag tribe was peaceful, it is, unfortunately, one of the only instances in American history. Native people were systematically killed by Europen settlers, effectively wiping out tribes and villages resulting in millions of deaths. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.
The Thanksgiving we celebrate today is a lot different than first. While Americans should acknowledge the atrocities of the country's founding fathers, the focus has shifted to "what we're grateful for" paired with watching football and getting the best deals for the following holiday. The NFL’s three-game Thanksgiving scheduled brought in nearly 68 million combined viewers in 2017, and Americans spent more than $5.03 billion on Black Friday online shopping – on top of the billions spent preparing for Thanksgiving itself, according to WalletHub.
Per usual, Ed is fascinated by the numbers of major holidays. The infographic by WalletHub below is filled with fun facts on every aspect of Thanksgiving, from how much we spend to how much we eat.