Just for fun, NatGeo's, "Thanksgiving 2010 Myths and Facts"
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened with the Pilgrims and local indigenous tribes (Indians) in 1621 at Plymouth [Rock], Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).
In the United States the word "Pilgrims" usually refers to the English settlers of New England, who celebrated the "First Thanksgiving" with the Native Americans in 1621.
Plymouth Rock was founded by a group of separatists and Anglicans, who together later came to be known as the Pilgrim Fathers, Plymouth Colony was, along with Jamestown, Virginia, one of the earliest successful colonies to be founded by the English in North America and the first sizable permanent English settlement in the New England region. Aided by Squanto, a Native American of the Patuxet people, the colony was able to establish a treaty with Chief Massasoit which helped to ensure the colony's success. The colony played a central role in King Philip's War, one of the earliest of the Indian Wars. Ultimately, the colony was annexed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.
Despite the colony's relatively short history, Plymouth holds a special role in American history. Rather than being entrepreneurs like many of the settlers of Jamestown, a significant proportion of the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship as they saw fit. The social and legal systems of the colony became closely tied to their religious beliefs, as well as English custom. Many of the people and events surrounding Plymouth Colony have become part of American folklore, including the North American tradition known as Thanksgiving and the monument known as Plymouth Rock.
- From Wikipedia
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks to God, for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving, our first. That proclamation is reproduced here in the same language and spelling as the original.
"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard..."
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many
The Pilgrim Society
History notwithstanding, and for whatever reason you have a feeling to give thanks for your life, have a great Holiday!