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Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Many people trace the origins of the modern Thanksgiving Day to the harvest celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. However, their first true thanksgiving was in 1623, when they gave thanks for rain that ended a drought. These early thanksgivings took the form of a special church service, rather than a feast.
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Today's Random Fact:
Although George Washington was the first to create a national day of thanksgiving, it didn't become a national holiday (with a set date) until Lincoln officially made it the last Thursday of November. For the interim 74 years, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving at different times. The original document that proclaimed the exact date of Thanksgiving was written by Secretary of State William Seward in 1863, and then sold a year later to benefit Union troops.
Not everyone sees Thanksgiving Day as a cause for celebration. Each year since 1970, a group of Native Americans and their supporters have staged a protest for a National Day of Mourning at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving Day.
Held every year on the island of Alcatraz, "Unthanksgiving Day" commemorates the survival of Native Americans following the arrival and settlement of Europeans in the Americas.