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Thanskgiving Day

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Main Office:
385 N Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Chino Hills District Office:
14010 City Center Drive
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Staff Members:
Larry Enriquez,
Chief of Staff

Joy Chadwick,
Deputy Chief of Staff

Brian Johsz,
District Director

Annette Taylor,
Executive Secretary

Naseem U. Farooqi,

Burt Southard,
Media Relations

Roman Nava,
Small Business Liason

Grace Hagman,
Field Representative

Jeanna Pomierski,
Field Representative
November 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all we have and to share our blessings with others. It is a time that reminds of what is truly important and reminds us to do what we can to assist those less fortunate. There is no better legacy we can give our children than the experience of sharing our blessings with others.

Thanksgiving is a time of remembrance and return, a celebration of abundance, both sustenance and love, with family and friends. It offers a chance not only to remember but also to reflect and examine what it means to be part of a family, part of a culture and what it means to be an American. Sadly many people have forgotten why the day was established in the first place.

In August 1620, 103 passengers sailed from Southampton, England to new lives in the new world and unbeknownst to them, also destined to become the creators of one of this country’s most popular holidays. Because of storms and disease, of the original 103 passengers, only 56 survived the first winter.

But as spring came, the survivors built homes and planted crops. They established friendships and trade with Native American tribes. After bringing in their first harvest in the fall of 1621, the settlers dedicated a day for thanking God for the bounty. They prepared a great feast to enjoy with family and friends both from within the colony and with neighboring Native American tribes.

The first Thanksgiving was held in the fall of 1621. In attendance were 52 English settlers and 90 Wampanoag Indians. There are many myths surrounding Thanksgiving but there are a few things that we know are true about the holiday:

The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted three days. The event most likely occurred between September 21 and November 11.

Of the 52 colonists who attended, most were women and children.

The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.

Cranberry sauce, potatoes – white or sweet – and pies were not on the menu.

The settlers and the Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had worked with earlier explorers.

Besides food, the event included recreation and entertainment.

There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is a letter by colonist Edward Winslow, who mentions some of the food and activities. The other description of the first event is found in the writings of Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford.

In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26 a day of Thanksgiving. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863. Between 1621 and 1863, Thanksgiving was celebrated in some states but not in others.

Of all the qualities of Thanksgiving, its power to draw people together is among its most endearing and enduring. Whether it’s sharing a meal with strangers or gathering relatives together from far-flung locations across the country, Americans have come to rely on Thanksgiving for its message of peace, sharing, and togetherness.