Thanksgiving and the Origins of the Birth of the New World

Thanksgiving and the Origins of the Birth of the New World

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Thanksgiving

The Consumerist reported that The Mall of America will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. It proclaimed last month that it will not formally be opening on the holiday. There will only be three stores opened at the mall on Thanksgiving Day.

Unlike the rest of its stores in most of the United States, Best Buy will not open at the Mall of America location at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune also reported that the Mall will be totally closed at noon except for Macy’s, The Crayola Experience, Sears, and Macy’s. The Crayola Experience is the one store staying open that does not have its own entry.

Only the maintenance staff and security will be able to exit and enter the mall after the noon closing. Also, only the door closest to The Crayola Store will be unlocked in the entire mall.

There will be an indoor charity walk held inside the mall before noon. However, all of the other attractions, such as the movie theaters, aquarium, and Nickelodeon Universe theme park will all close down. Typically, all of the attractions open along with the mall.

Thanksgiving originated as a noncommercial holiday or celebration. The History Channel website reported that the first Thanksgiving Day celebrations were celebrated, in 1621, in the Plymouth Colony. The original feast was celebrated among the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists.

However, for more than two centuries, individual colonies and states celebrated Thanksgiving. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, in 1863, during the Civil War. The holiday is held in November.

History stated that a small ship named, The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, in 1620. The ship carried 129 passengers, who were a mixture of individuals and religious exiles that wanted to purchase property in the New World. The religious separatists wanted to practice their faith freely in the New World.

The Mayflower crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 66 days. The History Channel stated that the voyage was rough and treacherous.

However, The Mayflower docked at the northern tip of Cape Cod, which was far away from their intended location, at the mouth of the Hudson River, in modern-day New York. The Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay one month later, to establish a village at Plymouth Rock. The History Channel said that the occupants of The Mayflower were called, “Pilgrims.”

During the initial fierce winter, the Pilgrims remained on their ship. The colonists suffered from scurvy, exposure to a harsh climate, and outbreaks of other contagious diseases.

Only half of the original New Englanders lived to witness their first spring in the region. The remaining colonists moved ashore in March. Then, they received an astonishing visit from the Abenaki Indian people. The Abenaki also greeted them in English. The indigenous people returned later with Squanto, who was a member of the Pawtuxet Tribe.

Squanto was kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery. He escaped to London before he returned to his homeland. Once home, he taught the Pilgrims how to remove sap from maple trees, grow corn, elude venomous plants, and catch fish in the rivers.

He helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag Indians. They would remain the sole example of kinship between European colonists and Native Americans.

The Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration, in 1623, because a long drought had endangered the year’s harvest. The drought prompted Governor Bradford to request a religious feast. The feast of Thanksgiving spread across the New England colonies.

In modern day times, The New York Times reported that retailers have been rushing to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day for the last several years. However, many retailers are opening fewer stores or will be open for shorter hours. The lack of commercialization for the holiday is reminiscent of the first Thanksgiving.

By John A. Federico
Edited by Jeanette Smith

Sources:

Consumerist: Only Three Stores Opening On Thanksgiving At Mall of America
History.com: HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING
The New York: Times: More Retailers Are Choosing to Close on Thanksgiving Day

Featured Image Courtesy of Midge Frazel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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