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5 Thanksgiving Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

November 26, 2019
Fall 2019

Concordia University Texas celebrates traditions, including the ones developed over Concordia's 93–year history. So we are always excited to celebrate Thanksgiving! It's a wonderful day to enjoy time with family, eat delicious food and, most importantly, thank God for His love and abundant blessings.

Discover what CTX faculty and staff enjoy for Thanksgiving.

Here are five things you may not have known about the Thanksgiving holiday.

There Are Two First-Hand Accounts of the First Thanksgiving

Remarkably, there are two surviving documents about the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony in 1621. While its insight into the feast is limited, it does give us a general understanding of the event.

William Bradford, who helped organize the journey to the New World on the Mayflower, served as governor of the colony for 30 years and kept a detailed record of the Pilgrims' journey in History of Plymouth Plantation.

Edward Winslow was a leader among the Pilgrims and wrote many accounts of their successes in defense of the new colonies against England.

Thanksgiving to God Was at the Heart of the Celebration

The Pilgrims experienced many hardships when they first settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, they reaped a successful harvest in 1621, so the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for the harvest through a feast, which is the inspiration for Thanksgiving.

Winslow wrote in a letter, “And God be praised, we had a good increase… our governor sent four men on fowling so that we might after a special manner rejoice together.”

Three-Day Celebration

The original Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days and did not include Black Friday!

Over the three-day celebration, the Wampanoag people joined the English settlers to enjoy food, entertainment and peaceful interactions.

Eel May Have Been on the Menu

According to the Smithsonian, one of the items the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag likely ate at the feast was eel.

It is verified through the writings of Bradford and Winslow that the following items were definitely at the feast:

  • Wildfowl (didn't specify turkey)
  • Corn (for bread or porridge)
  • Venison

Experience the First Thanksgiving Meal

Plimouth Plantation is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts that is a replication of the original plantation based on research and educated assumptions.

You can immerse yourself in history and actually experience the 17th Century dining experience at Plimouth Plantation.

Are you staying at CTX? Here are great ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.