Thanksgiving History

A brief history of Thanksgiving to share at your family gathering:

The first Thanksgiving Day began after the harvest of November 1621.  Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed:

“All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.”

U.S. Presidents continued through the years to proclaim a day of Thanksgiving to God.        In October 1863,  240 years after that first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed an annual “National Day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” 

President Lincoln said:  [It is]  “…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…”


Do President Lincoln’s words ring true today?  Have we forgotten God?     Have we vainly imagined that our own superior wisdom has made us what we are today?  Or rather, what we used to be?   Is our nation not spiraling downward and away from the God who created us?

It is not too late to turn back to God now, this very day.   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:  and


This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:  and


About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
This entry was posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thanksgiving History

  1. Mark says:

    good read…in answer to your question: Have we forgotten God…..I think it’s more that our society hasn’t forgotten God….but that it has been so busy erasing the knowledge that he is God…..God bless

  2. Linda Simson says:

    Thanks Kathleen for the brief history. I will share this with the family we are going to spend Thanksgiving with, it will be a great way to focus on the real reason we have this holiday to begin with. It is amazing to me that even back then Lincoln recognized that the nation was turning its back on God. We are definitely spiraling downward into a Godless society today. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

    • Kathleen says:

      I also found it interesting that Lincoln recognized our nation was turning away from God. It would be tempting to despair if we did not know the love of God. Jesus’ words in John 16:33 encourages us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  3. Love the history lesson!! There is always so much more to what we do blindly and it makes it so much more meaningful!! Thank you for this!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.