Facts about the First Thanksgiving That Will Blow Your Mind


Hey there, did you ever wonder where the whole Thanksgiving feast tradition began? Well, buckle up because we are about to discover some cool “facts about the first Thanksgiving”.

Pilgrims, Native Americans, and a lot of other interesting first Thanksgiving facts and myths stuff let’s break down and discover the real story behind our favorite fall feast as well as why is thanksgiving celebrated.

Facts about the First Thanksgiving
Facts about the First Thanksgiving

Why is it called Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving comes to its name from the fact that it is a day dedicated to offering thanks along with expressing our appreciation for all of life’s blessings and good fortune.

The facts about the first Thanksgiving is the name honors the custom of gathering with loved ones to enjoy and remember the relationships, the harvest, and the good things in life.

The celebration’s origins can be traced back to the early era of American colonization when Native Americans and Pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest by gathering together for a feast. Thanksgiving has developed over time into a national holiday marked by festive dining and expressions of thanks.

What is the first Thanksgiving story?

Facts about the first Thanksgiving America story date back to 1621. The Mayflower brought a group of pilgrims who faced a hard winter. Squanto and other Native Americans taught them how to grow corn and catch fish, which helped them, survive.

The Pilgrims thanked the Native Americans with a feast following a harvest that was plentiful. Over the three days of celebrations, everyone shared food such as corn, poultry, and deer.

The first Thanksgiving 1621, was an opportunity for people to come together, share knowledge, and express gratitude for the friendship and helping hand that the Native Americans had given the Pilgrims.

Facts about the First Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was held in month November and year 1621 between the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Here are some of the best facts about the first Thanksgiving,

Facts 1 – Participants

  • Approximately 50 Pilgrims attended the event and around 90 Wampanoag Indians at the same time including Massasoit their leader.

Facts 2 – Duration

  • The celebration facts about the First Thanksgiving lasted for three days. 

Facts 3 – Purpose

  • To express gratitude and to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims organized the feast for the guidance and help they received from the people of the Wampanoag.

Facts 4 – Date

  • It is believed thanks giving facts that the first Thanksgiving occurred somehow between the months of September 21 and November 11, 1621.

Facts 5 – Menu

  • Interesting facts about the first Thanksgiving are the specific foods served at this event are not well documented, but it is likely that the menu included a range of varieties of locally available foods.
  • Some widely mentioned items are venison, wild turkey (fowl or waterfowl), fish, beans, corn, and squash, as well as other types of vegetables.

Facts 6 – Absence of Pumpkin Pie

  • Contrary to known belief, there is no historical proof to suggest that pumpkin pie was served on the first Thanksgiving.
  • The Pilgrims lacked the wheat flour and the butter needed for pie crust, and sugar was not available.

Facts 7 – Thanksgiving Proclamation

  • Thanksgiving had not launched immediately announcement as an annual tradition.
  • It was not until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national holiday Thanksgiving, setting the date in November as the final Thursday.

Facts 8 – Primary Source

  • Much of what is known facts about the first Thanksgiving comes from the writings of Pilgrim Edward Winslow, who chronicled the event in a letter.

Facts 9 – Cultural Exchange

  • This celebration is mostly seen as a symbol of cooperation as well as goodwill between the Native Americans and Pilgrims. It is considered a moment of cultural exchange, as both groups share traditions, foods, and festivals.

Facts 10 – Modern Celebration

  • The modern Thanksgiving is celebrated in November on the fourth Thursday.
  • It draws inspiration from this historical event while the first Thanksgiving had a different type of purpose and context too.
  • It has become an emotional fact about the first Thanksgiving time for families, friends, and for close ones to come together and share the kind gestures, and thanks for the blessings of the year.

Facts 11 – Pilgrim Arrival

  • In 1620, the Pilgrims that arrived on the Mayflower faced a harsh first winter in the location of Plymouth.
  • Many of them died due to malnutrition, exposure, and disease.
  • The help of the Wampanoag people played an important role in helping them to survive and adapt to the new weather and environment.

Facts 12 – Wampanoag Contribution

  • Those Wampanoag Indians who helped the Pilgrims are particularly Squanto.
  • Squanto spoke English and they taught the Pilgrims about agricultural techniques, and methods even they guided them on how to cultivate corn and how to catch fish. 
  • This knowledge was a pillar for the Pilgrim’s successful harvest.

Facts 13 – Religious Aspect

  • The best facts about the First Thanksgiving is the Pilgrims, who were separatists from the Church of England, saw the First Thanksgiving as a time of reflection and prayer, giving thanks to God for the help and blessings they had received.

Facts 14 – Historical Context

  • Well-known facts about the first Thanksgiving is the first celebration occurred against the backdrop of the early colonial period in America.
  • It shows a moment of goodwill and cooperation between Europe settlers and Native Americans, a relationship that would later become more complex as well as strained as European colonization continued.

Facts 15 – Commercial Aspects

  • The pilgrims were also motivated by considerations of economics.
  • The success of the harvest and alliance with the Wampanoag helped establish the Plymouth Colony as a viable and economically sustainable settlement.

Facts 16 – Thanksgiving Parades

  • Modern Thanksgiving is often linked with parades, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City being one of the most famous.
  • These parades feature giant balloons, floats, marching bands, and performances. It adds a festive and communal side to the holiday.

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Why did the pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

To show their appreciation for the support that they received from the Native Americans and to celebrate a successful harvest, the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

Following facts about the first Thanksgiving is a difficult first year in the New World that saw many Pilgrims suffer from sickness and tragedy, the Wampanoag Native Americans called Squanto provided essential help.

They passed on to the Pilgrims knowledge of important agricultural methods like planting corn and using fish as fertilizer. After a plentiful harvest, Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered for a three-day feast to share food, pay tribute to their friendship, and express thanks for the harvest’s blessings.

Where was the first Thanksgiving hosted?

Thanksgiving history facts are Plymouth, Massachusetts hosted the first celebration. The Pilgrims, having arrived on the Mayflower, feasted with the Native Americans in 1621.

The location of the historic event was Plymouth, which was created for the Pilgrims. The place held meaning as the Pilgrims had founded their community there following a difficult journey.

The facts about the first Thanksgiving purpose of celebration was to communicate deep appreciation for the abundant crops and all the help they gained from Native Americans, especially the Wampanoag tribe, who were necessary for the occasion.

10 facts about the First Thanksgiving for kids
  1. Native Americans and Pilgrims 
  2. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621
  3. Native Americans were invited by pilgrims
  4. Three-day feast
  5. Food shared, such as pumpkin, corn, along with turkey
  6. The tribe of Wampanoag helped the Pilgrims
  7. Native American Squanto guided farming.
  8. Praised for a successful harvest
  9. No knives or forks just use your hands 
  10. Tradition, but not yearly until later
10 fun facts about the first Thanksgiving
  1. Pilgrims faced a harsh winter before the feast
  2. About 50 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans
  3. No turkey as the main dish; deer and fowl instead
  4. No pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce
  5. Games like wrestling and running races
  6. Fun Thanksgiving facts, this is three days of celebration
  7. No forks, knives, or plates; used hands and knives
  8. Squanto, a Native American, helped bridge the cultures
  9. No formal invitation; Native Americans joined in
  10. Thanksgiving is not an official holiday until much later

When did Thanksgiving become a federal holiday?

facts about first thanksgiving america
Facts about the First Thanksgiving America

Facts about the First Thanksgiving became a federal holiday on October 3, 1863. During the period of Civil War time, the President of the USA Abraham Lincoln announced it as a national holiday.

During a trying time, he wished to encourage thankfulness and unity throughout the whole nation. The final Thursday in November became known as the official Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is still observed on the fourth Thursday of November, as declared by Congress in 1941.

It has evolved into a time for friends and family to get together, enjoy a meal, and give thanks for all of the goodness that surrounds us.

What to cook first for Thanksgiving dinner?

It is normal to begin Thanksgiving dinner with the main dish, which is commonly turkey. You can better organize and control the timing of the other dishes if you cook the turkey first.

Below is a basic structure to first Thanksgiving food think about,

Step 1: Turkey

  • Start by getting the turkey ready and roasting it. This is the main course and typically requires the most time to prepare during Thanksgiving.

Step 2:  Side Dishes

  • As the turkey cooks, you can prepare the sides. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green beans are common options. These meals are frequently set up ahead of time and then reheated.

Step 3: Gravy

  • After the turkey is cooked, its drippings can be used to create delicious gravy.

Step 4: Bread/Rolls

  • Just before serving, bread or rolls that you plan to serve can be baked or reheated.

Step 5: Desserts

  • Finally, spend on sweets like pies (traditional options include apple, pecan, or pumpkin). These can be started while the turkey is resting, or they can be prepared in advance.

Schedule your cooking time wisely and make sure to have these fun facts about Thanksgiving food while cooking and spending time with your loved ones.

What is the second most consumed food on Thanksgiving?

Stuffing or dressing is typically the second most consumed food on Thanksgiving, right after turkey. It is a side dish made up of vegetables, herbs, and spices, alongside bread or cornbread.

Also Thanksgiving Day facts, side dishes like green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are commonly enjoyed by people.

While the exact popularity of particular dishes may differ from place to place or family to family, stuffing is a traditional and extensively appreciated highlight of Thanksgiving dinners in the US.

10 facts about the First Thanksgiving Feast

first thanksgiving food
Facts about the First Thanksgiving
  1. Date and Location: 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts
  2. Participants: Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans
  3. Purpose: Celebration of a successful harvest
  4. Duration: Lasted for three days
  5. Menu: Likely included venison, fowl, seafood, corn, and other locally sourced foods
  6. Squanto’s Role: Native American Squanto assisted Pilgrims with agricultural knowledge
  7. Unity: Both Pilgrims and Native Americans contributed to and shared the feast
  8. Communal Celebration: Focused on gratitude and coming together
  9. Cultural Exchange: Pilgrims learned agricultural techniques from the Wampanoag
  10. Historical Significance: Laid the foundation for the modern Thanksgiving tradition in the United States.

Who celebrates modern thanksgiving?

The United States is where most people celebrate modern Thanksgiving. Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, there is a national holiday marked. Facts about the first Thanksgiving is a time when Americans gather with relatives and close companions, enjoy a special food that usually includes roasted turkey, and give gratitude for all the blessings in their lives.

Since the first Thanksgiving day has its origins in historical events involving Native Americans and Pilgrims, the holiday is now celebrated widely throughout a wide range of American communities as well exceeds historical context.

What can baby eat at Thanksgiving?

Facts about the First Thanksgiving
Facts about the First Thanksgiving

It is worthwhile to take the baby’s age and developmental stage seriously when bringing toddler Thanksgiving food.

Here are some baby-friendly facts about the First Thanksgiving food ideas,

Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Butternut Squash

  • For babies, cooked and mashed butternut squash or sweet potatoes can be a satisfying and healthful choice.

Pureed Turkey

  • Be sure that the turkey is properly pureed to a consistency suitable for the age of your baby and ability to handle textures.


  • One of the easy-to-digest options for babies is unsweetened applesauce.

Pureed Vegetables

  • For baby meals, pureed and steamed green beans, peas, or vegetables like carrots.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Mashed potatoes without adding any butter, salt, or any type of seasonings are the best choice for babies.

Cranberry Sauce

  • Select a low-sugar cranberry sauce and serve a tiny portion. Make sure you puree or chop the cranberry sauce carefully.

Plain Yogurt

  • Protein and calcium can be found in abundance in plain yogurt. Serve it as a meal or mix in some pureed fruit.

Soft Rolls or Bread

  • Make sure your baby can easily chew or gum on small pieces of soft bread or rolls.

Pumpkin Puree

  • For babies, try Taste of home Thanksgiving recipes like plain pumpkin puree (without added sugars or spices) is a healthy choice.

Breast Milk or Formula

  • Make sure that your kid has access to their regular milk source whether they are on formula or are still breastfed.

Always be aware of possible allergens, and create a new food one at a time while keeping an eye out for any negative reactions.

Speaking with your pediatrician before adding easy Thanksgiving recipes or new foods to your baby’s diet is also very important, particularly if your child is younger than a year old. Since each baby is unique, their level of eagerness for various flavors and textures can also vary.

First thanksgiving outfit

Facts about Thanksgiving always surprise us and it is always exciting to pick out the right clothing for the first Thanksgiving celebration. Many choose a cozy yet fashionable outfit that captures the joyous and cozy atmosphere of the event.

For others, this may mean wearing a warm sweater with leggings or jeans to create a look that skillfully blends coziness with a hint of fall flair. Some people might go for a more conventional look, dressing in rich fall colors like earthy browns, oranges, and deep reds.

Whichever option you decide on, the secret is to find the right balance between being carefree and presentable so that you can savor the delightful feast and present your gratitude to loved ones in style.

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Top 10 First Thanksgiving Trivia Questions

first thanksgiving trivia questions
First Thanksgiving Trivia Questions

Here are some Thanksgiving trivia facts along with their answers,

1. In what year was the first Thanksgiving celebrated?

  • Answer: 1621.

2. Which Native American tribe is famously associated with the first Thanksgiving?

  • Answer: Wampanoag.

3. Who is credited with organizing the first Thanksgiving feast?

  • Answer: Facts about the First Thanksgiving feast is Governor William Bradford.

4. What bird was likely served at the first Thanksgiving feast?

  • Answer: Turkey.

5. Which state was the first to adopt Thanksgiving as an official holiday?

  • Answer: New York.

6. Which president officially established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863?

  • Answer: Abraham Lincoln.

7. According to tradition, who were the Pilgrims thanking at the first Thanksgiving?

  • Answer: They were thanking God for a bountiful harvest.

8. Which food item was not present at the first Thanksgiving?

  • Answer: Potatoes (sweet potatoes were likely present, but not white potatoes).

9. What is the day after Thanksgiving commonly known as, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season?

  • Answer: Black Friday.

10. Which Native American woman is said to have saved the life of a Pilgrim and later served as an interpreter and intermediary between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans?

  • Answer: Squanto.

What is Thanksgiving in the Bible?

Facts about the first Thanksgiving in the Bible, Thanksgiving often refers to expressing thankfulness and appreciation to God. Even though Thanksgiving, as it is observed in the United States, has historical and cultural origins, the idea of giving thanks is found throughout many biblical passages.

The Bible highlights the value of gratefulness and appreciation in the Christian tradition as a means of recognizing God’s goodness, faithfulness, and provision. Scriptures like Colossians 3:15 and Philippians 4:67 exhort Christians to express gratitude in both their daily lives and prayers.

While the Bible does not specifically mention the modern Thanksgiving holiday, it does contain a lot of references to the concepts of thankfulness and gratitude, which are central to many religious traditions.

Who named Thanksgiving?

In the real history of Thanksgiving the word “Thanksgiving” has roots in the English language and it was used before the United States national holiday became a reality to refer to a day of greeting thanks, particularly in religious settings.

The facts about the First Thanksgiving term, “Thanksgiving” did not originate with any one person but it developed over the time period as a way to name the day that is set aside for showing gratitude.

While did not create the phrase, President Abraham Lincoln played a role in the regulation and declaration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. By then, the name was probably widely used to refer to the yearly feasting along with the day of gratitude.

America’s first Thanksgiving is a historical and cultural tradition in the United States, and its name reflects its intention to express gratitude for life’s blessings, including the harvesting process.

Which NFL team has never played on Thanksgiving?

Since their founding in 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team that has never held a Thanksgiving game. The NFL has a long-standing custom of hosting games on Thanksgiving Day putting different teams against one another, but the Jaguars are not on the schedule this year.

For Thanksgiving games, the league usually chooses teams with a track record of popularity, competition, or sizable fan bases; the Jaguars, a relatively new team, have not taken part in this yearly custom.

The NFL schedule is subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check the most recent information. Yet, as of the January 2022 cutoff, the Jaguars had not played on Thanksgiving.

Facts about the First Thanksgiving
Facts about the First Thanksgiving

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are two facts about the history of Thanksgiving?

Ans: Thanksgiving history origins generally belong to a three-day feast that Pilgrims in addition to Native Americans shared in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621.

2. What president proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday?

Ans: Thanksgiving became a national holiday under President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation. On October 3, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, he issued this proclamation.

3. Which president refused to recognize Thanksgiving?

Ans: No U.S. president has declined to mark Thanksgiving. President Abraham Lincoln’s notification in 1863 passed Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

4. What was served at the first Thanksgiving?

Ans: The interesting facts about Thanksgiving were that in 1621, a wide range of foods were prepared and served. The exact menu is not still well documented but it is wild game, corn, seafood, vegetables, berries, and of course fruits as well.

5. When was the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?

Ans: The facts about the first Thanksgiving in 1924 on November 27, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade took place. To attract shoppers and to celebrate the holiday season, it was initially organized by Macy’s department store in New York City.

6. What college teams played in the first Thanksgiving Day football game?

Ans: On November 30, 1893, the first Thanksgiving football game was played between the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. This facts about the First Thanksgiving game was held in Chicago and it ended in a 64 victory for the University of Chicago.

What is the best message for Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving Message
Happy Thanksgiving Message

A heartfelt and simple Thanks giving message could be,

“Grateful hearts gather here. Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with joy, warmth, and the company of those you cherish. May your blessings be abundant, and your gratitude overflow. Happy Thanksgiving”

Final Note

There you have it some awesome “facts about the first Thanksgiving". It is not just about turkey and pie, it is a story of people coming together, closer, sharing, and giving appreciation or thanks. 

So, as you gather with loved ones this Thanksgiving, always remember the roots of this holiday, thanksgiving facts and trivia, and enjoy the good times. Here is to more gratitude, laughter, and feasts.

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