21 November 2016


The Pilgrims were English Separatists. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, in Holland where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years.

In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden.

How many people were on the Mayflower?  How long did it take for them to get to Plymouth? Get the facts.

Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday.
After watching the video, can you answer these questions?
1- What did the Wampanoags teach the pilgrims?
2- How long did the first harvest meal last? 
3-What did this meal include?
4-Later, what did the celebration mean for the Puritans?
5-in 1777, why did the Continental Congress decreed a Thanksgiving Day?
6-Sarah Josepha Hale started a letter writing campaign. Why?
7-Who declared the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day? When?
8-List some traditions started during the 20th century.

How much do you know about the Thanksgiving holiday? What are the origins of this annual celebration? Take the Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz and test your knowledge of Thanksgiving history and lore. CLICK HERE

Turkeys are an integral part of Thanksgiving celebrations. No Thanksgiving dinner feels complete without a turkey! Do you know why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Well, there are a number of interesting stories that are accounted for turkey becoming such a dinner staple on this day. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day was NOT ALWAYS a part of the traditions. There is pork, there is chicken, and fish and then, there is turkey. Our great-grandfathers could have chosen anything as the highlight of the dinner celebration, so why turkey? I don't think anyone can put a finger on a specific incident that led to this custom. Seems like a bit of mystery, but, we can try solving the puzzle with these pieces from the history of Thanksgiving. READ MORE.


Know or Go: Thanksgiving Style!

Ellen had three members of her audience on the Know or Go machine to find out how much they know about Thanksgiving! Would you have won?

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