Happy Thanksgiving Day! We wish you extra happiness on this day. America is still a land of opportunities. Yes, we have challenges and setbacks. Yet, it is a land of promise. We are sharing with you, for free, one of our patriotic stories from our newest release – Learning to Read: American History, Volume 1. Please take a closer look at it on Kindle, Audiobook, and paperback. (The First Europeans, 1492-1621, Copyright 2023)
The First Thanksgiving
- Queen Isabella of Spain financed the voyages of Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic in search of a shorter trade route to India. The queen also wanted Columbus to spread Christianity and search for gold. On October 12, 1492, the crew saw land. The Nina, Santa Maria, and Pinta dropped their anchors. Columbus claimed the new land for Spain. They met the natives and called them Indians because they thought they were in East Indies. Columbus named the land San Salvador in honor of Christ, the Savior.
- News that the ships had reached land spread to other explorers. In 1507, the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, created official maps of the newly discovered lands showing they were not part of Asia. This New World was named America in his honor.
- In 1606, King James I granted a charter to the Virginia Company to create a colony in North America. In May 1607, the English created the first settlement in Virginia called Jamestown after King James. They later created a representative assembly called the House of Burgesses.
- King James persecuted the Puritans because they refused to worship in the Church of England. A small group of 102 people left England on September 6, 1620, on a ship called the Mayflower. On November 9, 1620, land was sighted. This group, who now called themselves Pilgrims, settled in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. They governed their colony with the Mayflower Compact.
- The Pilgrims quickly built houses and became friends with the natives who were called the Wampanoag people. Both groups wanted to get along with each other. They signed a peace treaty. In November 1621 everyone celebrated a harvest feast we now observe as Thanksgiving.
Homeschoolers/Educators/Parents: Draw a picture, color it, and write about the blessings and hardships of the first Thanksgiving in America. (Skills: identify, comprehend, creative, analyze)