[The following blog post was written by Kristin E. Cangialosi, a graduate student in the Department of Library and Information Studies.]
A group of Puritans broke away from the Anglican Church in the early 1600’s and became the Pilgrims. They decided to voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to begin a new life, free from persecution. Landing at Plymouth Rock in December of 1621, the Pilgrims established their new social order with the Mayflower Compact. They would have died off, had it not been for Squanto and the Native Americans that taught them how to sustain themselves in this foreign land.
Thanksgiving is a day meant to commemorate the union of two cultures, breaking bread together at the same harvest feast table. But is that how it really happened? Or is Thanksgiving actually based on the traditional English Harvest Home celebration? If Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims, then why was it not an officially recognized holiday until the 1863 Proclamation? And how come Abraham Lincoln never mentioned anything about the Pilgrims when making his Proclamation?
These are just some of the books available at the UB Libraries that chronicle the story of Thanksgiving and how it came to be.
- Thanksgiving: the Biography of an American Holiday
- A Great & Godly Adventure: the Pilgrims & the Myth of the First Thanksgiving
- Little Known Facts about Thanksgiving and Lincoln’s Proclamation
- Partakers of Plenty: A Study of the First Thanksgiving
If you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and need some help, these e-books can be easily accessed from your laptop, phone, or tablet. If you are a guest this year and want to contribute, there are some great recipes for desserts and side dishes as well!
- How to Cook Everything Thanksgiving: 20 Recipes for the Big Day
- Countdown to the Thanksgiving Holiday
These titles celebrate the holiday with compilations of literature including stories, plays, and poetry about Thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving; Its Origin, Celebration, and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse
- It’s Time for Thanksgiving
Regardless of its historical origins or what you decide to cook, Thanksgiving is a day to spend with the people you love. So, have a very happy one this year!