Thanksgiving is a celebration of thanks. See how the Pilgrims kicked off what would become a quintessential American tradition.
In 1620, 102 pilgrims and crew came from England on a voyage that took 66 days, on the Mayflower. They landed in what is now called Plymouth Bay, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, far from their original destination of Virginia where they had permission to land. Food and supplies were low, so they landed at Plymouth. They endured a difficult journey. These members of an English Separatist Church, a Puritan sect, fled from religious persecution, and managed instead to survive the hardships of a new land.
Thanksgiving was a celebration the following year in the early autumn, of the surviving 53 Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag Indians, with which they peacefully coexisted.