The Arke

The Tragic Origins of Thanksgiving

Lauren Hatfield, Editor

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Many know Thanksgiving as a time to spend with loved ones, watch a good football game, and most importantly eat bountiful amounts of food. However, despite the pleasant spin that Thanksgiving has been given the origins of the beloved holiday are much darker than they may appear.

Americans know the gist of it really, a supposed union between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims because of the natives great help to the Pilgrims, which in turn led to a great feast, right? Well, not really. There was a Native American man named Squanto and the Wampanoag tribe who did helpthe first Pilgrims and they were in return thanked, and yes, there was a meal. One meal.

The real origin is far more gruesome.The first day of thanksgiving was celebrated in 1637 when over 700 native Americans were murdered by colonists. The Massachusetts Bay Colony governor declared a day of Thanksgiving to celebrate victory over the “savages”. This in turn started a trend. Every time the natives were massacred the churches announced a da
y of thanksgiving. These massacres and celebrations became so frequent that George Washington declared that one day be set aside each year instead of after every mass killing.

The illusive holiday filled with turkey and dressing, sweater weather and football games is not the picture it has been painted out to be. This day, known and loved by many throughout the nation does in fact have a truly tragic origin. So this year when Thanksgiving comes around and you are celebrating with your families, don’t forget to take remembrance in those who lost their lives for this holiday.

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Student run newspaper of Lake Oconee Academy.
The Tragic Origins of Thanksgiving