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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on the Thanksgiving Proclamation or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Thanksgiving Proclamation worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN OF THANKSGIVING IN THE US
- Thanksgiving Day first started in New England. European settlers thanked God for the abundant harvest of crops.
- The first Thanksgiving Day in America was on December 4, 1619.
- A group of 38 English settlers arrived in Berkeley and their charter required that the day of their arrival be observed yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God.
- In New England, the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Plymouth, 1621, by the pilgrims together with 91 Native Americans.
- The pilgrims first set foot at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. The first winter in Massachusetts was very bad and 46 of the original 102 pilgrims died.
- It is believed that the Native Americans helped the pilgrims through that difficult period and without them, the pilgrims would not have survived.
- In spring 1621, Samoset of the Wampanoag tribe and Squanto of the Patuxet tribe taught the survivors how to plant crops and how to catch alewives. Alewives are a kind of fish used as a fertilizer for growing pumpkins, beans, peas, and other crops. They also taught the pilgrims the art of hunting and angling.
- In 1621, the corn and pumpkin harvest was bountiful. Governor William Bradford made arrangements to celebrate the bountiful harvest and to recognise the help given to the colonists by the Native Americans with a feast. Governor William Bradford sent four men out hunting ducks and geese.
- The pilgrims used to call any type of wild fowl turkey. Unfortunately, this celebration was not repeated for many years.
- On June 20, 1676, the council of Charlestown and Massachusetts held a meeting where they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a Thanksgiving Day.
- The Native Americans were not included this time as the celebration was more about the pilgrims’ recent victory over the natives.
- At the same time that year, the Protestant Episcopal Church announced that the first Thursday in November would be set aside yearly for giving thanks.
- In November 1777, the Continental Congress issued the First Nation Proclamation of Thanksgiving, following their victory in the Battles of Saratoga. Under the proclamation, it recommended the 18th day of December for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise.
- Prior to the Treaty of Paris which formally ended the American Revolutionary War, another Day of Thanksgiving was held on November 28, 1782.
- On November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated under the new Constitution during the first year George Washington was president of the United States of America.
- A famous editor, Sarah Josepha, persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.
- Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November, 1863, as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”
- However, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it to one week earlier which lengthened the Christmas shopping season.
- On October 6, 1941, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution which declared the last Thursday in November a legal holiday for Thanksgiving.
- The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Excerpt from President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863
Thanksgiving Proclamation Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Thanksgiving Proclamation across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Thanksgiving Proclamation worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Thanksgiving Proclamation which set the last Thursday of November as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Thanksgiving Proclamation Facts
- Behind Thanksgiving
- Tracking Pilgrims
- Historical Ladder
- Bradford and Squanto
- Thanksgiving in Letters
- Turkey Things
- Thanksgiving Trivia
- Roosevelt’s Take
- Favorite Facts
- It’s Thanksgiving!
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Link will appear as Thanksgiving Day Proclamation Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 13, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.