Thanking the Almighty God, the First Thanksgiving

The first official Thanksgiving Proclamation by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford 398 years ago, provides a key insight into the true meaning of the holiday. 

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

“Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”

And while some of the language is rough on the modern ear, the “protection from the ravages of the savages”

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