Remembering the first Thanksgiving feast
Richard Roger and Oscar Hammerstein wrote in The King and I, “Sometimes, I am not sure what I absolutely know is so.”
By the time you read this Thanksgiving will be in full celebration. Families will gather, eat, watch the parades and sports, and impatiently wait for stores to open. Hopefully, they will shop Salado first.
Thanksgiving was a little different in 1620. The Pilgrims, spending a month exploring Cape Cod and stealing corn from the Indians, finally decided to settle at Plymouth Christmas Day. The winter was harsh and by Spring half the colonists were dead. The Indian’s initiatives probably saved the other half of the Pilgrims.
One Indian stands out above all. Named Squanto, he learned English from fishermen who ventured into New England waters each summer. He had also been kidnapped by English traders and brought to England. Allowed to return to America, he found his entire Village decimated by an epidemic.
Squanto became friends with William Bradford who gave him permission to teach Pilgrims how and where to fish, plant corn, pumpkins, and squash.
By 1621, the harvest was so bountiful, the Pilgrims invited Massasoit, Chief, Wampanoag Confederacy, and 90 of his braves to a lavish 3-day feast with deer meat and fowl as their main dishes. Most of the food was provided by or with the aid of the Indians. This was the first Thanksgiving. One year later, 1622, Squanto died. To his credit belongs the fact that he was instrumental in saving the Pilgrims.
As this weekend unfolds, we humbly offer our “Thanks” to each of you. We celebrate your spirit, experience, and tenacity in making Salado a special place to live. Like Squanto, you taught us the importance of self-sacrifice, leadership, and commitment. And, that makes a Village! Happy Thanksgiving.