Thursday, November 23, 2006 at 2:29 AM
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men fowling, that so we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. - Edward Winslow, 1621
Before heading home for a nice long weekend of celebrating and diving into the turkey with family and friends, I took a few minutes to dig up some Thanksgiving history with Google Book Search. As Americans around the country gather to celebrate, here are a few interesting tidbits you might want to share:
While the exact date of the first official Thanksgiving celebration is debated, its roots go back to 1621, when the Plymouth Pilgrims rejoiced following their first harvest. This early harvest celebration is famously recounted in Edward Wilson and William Bradford's Mourt's Relation, and, more recently, in children's books like The First Thanksgiving Feast and Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation.
Thanksgiving has changed a bit since then. Instead of water fowl and barley loaves, books like The Thanksgiving Table are full of recipes for stuffing, pumpkin cheesecake, and cranberry-orange relish (yum). If you're interested in holiday tips beyond recipes, there's some good advice in The Book of Thanksgiving: Stories, Poems, and Recipes for Sharing One of America's Greatest Holidays and All New Crafts for Thanksgiving. You can even read about the history of the annual Macy's parade.
However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we here at Google Book Search wish you a happy holiday.