Early thanksgiving observances
Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America. The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century.
Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610. In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. The group’s London Company charter specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned… in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” Three years later, after the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned and colonists moved their celebration to Jamestown and other more secure spots.
Thanksgiving Stands For: Funny Nursery Rhyme
H — is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A — is for America, the land in which we live
N — is for nature and beauty which she gives
K — is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S — is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G — is for gratitude… our blessings big and small
I — is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V — is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I — is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N — is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G — is for giving of myself to make a better me