What did the Pilgrims eat on the First Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving Day Facts for Kids!

Want to know what the people ate on the first Thanksgiving or who the Pilgrims were?  Check out these Thanksgiving Day Facts:
  • In September of 1620 102 people set sail to the “new World.”
  • These people are known as Pilgrims.
  • ThePilgrims were English Protestants who wanted to be free from the English church.
  • They set sail for 66 days across the Atlantic Ocean on the ship the Mayflower.
  • The Pilgrims landed in the Colony of Plymouth in what is now Massachusetts.
  • The Pilgrims landed in an area that was occupied by the Wampanoag people.  The Wampanoage people had been living there for centuries.
  • Sqaunto an English speaking native visited the Pilgrims and taught them how to grow corn and fertilize their fields so they wouldn’t starve.
  • In March 1621 an agreement was made between Pilgrim leader William Bradford and Wampanoag Chief Massasoit that the Wampanoage people and the Pilgrims would protect each other against enemies.
  • To celebrate the agreement the Wampanoage and Pilgrims had a harvest feast.
  • This harvest feast is now referred to as the first Thanksgiving.
  • This harvest feast lasted three days.
  • During this time the Wampanoage people and the Pilgrims feasted on deer, duck, shellfish, cabbage, carrots and eggs.
  • No one knows for sure if turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
  • They also played ball games, sang songs and danced.
  • President George Washington declared the 1st national Thanksgiving Day in 1789 and again in 1795.
  • In 1846 Godley’s Lady’s Book Magazine Editor Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for Thanksgiving to be a national day of giving thanks and prayer.
  • Her campaigning paid off and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared two Thanksgivings one in August to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg and the second on the last Thursday in November to give thanks.
  • In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to move Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November.  The country was still suffering from the Great Depression.  President Roosevelt believed the moving Thanksgiving up one week would help the economy by making the Christmas shopping season longer.
  • People were upset with the thought of moving Thanksgiving up.  In 1941 congress passed a law that declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be held every year on the 4th Thursday of November.
  • In Canada Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday in October.
  • Even though no one knows if turkey was eaten on the first Thanksgiving today over 90% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the US however he was out voted and the eagle became the national bird.
  • Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.  Black Friday kicks off the Christmas season shopping.
Click here for Turkey Facts and Thanksgiving Jokes for Kids