The true story of Thanksgiving

The true story of Thanksgiving
November 24 08:57 2016 Print This Article

Lowcountry WatchdogMost people learn in school that the Pilgrims came to the New World to pursue religious liberty, which they were denied in England. Few of us are taught the purpose and meaning of the first Thanksgiving.

Radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh wrote about the first Thanksgiving in his 1993 book See, I Told You So,  which he recounts on the radio each year at this time. He describes how half of the Pilgrims died during their first winter in the New World and how their system of collectivism, in which all crops were placed in a common store and distributed equally, was a total failure.

Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford recognized the collectivism didn’t work and changed to a system of family farming. Families were able to eat, trade or sell what they produced. Bradford wrote, “It made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” The Pilgrims were producing more food than they could consume and set up trading posts to barter with the Native American people.

The first Thanksgiving was not intended to thank the Native Americans for their cooperation with the Pilgrims. Rather, it was proclaimed to give thanks to God for the Pilgrims’ newfound prosperity and ability to worship in freedom. President George Washington issue his Thanksgiving proclamation October 3, 1789, thanking God for the unique nature of America and the opportunity for its people to self-govern.

In his first Thanksgiving proclamation, President Donald Trump wrote, “Just as the Pilgrims did, today Americans stand strong, willing to fight for their families and their futures, to uphold our values, and to confront any challenge … As one people, we seek God’s protection, guidance and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.”

As you celebrate this joyous day, reflect upon how its origin forged the future of our unique nation.