Thanksgiving in the United States is a time to gather with family and friends, share a traditional meal and express gratitude for the good things in life. It can also be a time of service to others in the community.
A three-day harvest celebration held in 1621 in Plymouth Colony (part of today’s Massachusetts) is generally considered to be the first American Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims had arrived the year before on the ship The Mayflower. They hadn’t brought enough food, and it was too late to plant crops. Half the colony died during the winter of 1620–1621. In the spring, local Wampanoag Indians taught the colonists how to grow corn (maize) and other crops, and helped them master hunting and fishing. They also showed the colonists how to cook cranberries, corn and squash.