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The Auroran Today

The Truth Behind Thanksgiving

Looking into the roots of the famous holiday.

Thanksgiving is a very popular holiday that typically happens on the last Thursday in November every year. Thanksgiving dates back to when Americans or the pilgrims first traveled to North America.

Most students are taught that the first Thanksgiving was in 1621 when pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe held a three-day feast after pilgrims immigrated to America. The true story is not as cut and dry as this.

Native Americans had conflicts with the pilgrims from the second they came to America. The Europeans brought many diseases and illnesses that caused mass deaths in the Native Americans.

The first interaction between Native Americans and Pilgrims was ungracious and it was when pilgrims stole Native American resources, such as winter attire, tools, and more that they lacked themselves.

There are no records of the Wampanoag tribe being invited to this feast. It is believed that the tribal head heard gunshots and sent an army to handle the attack.

Thanksgiving was not an official holiday until Abraham Lincoln became president and established the holiday in 1863. Before this, “Thanksgiving” happened right before or after attacks or mass genocides against Native Americans. As well as stealing land from the Native Americans. Pilgrims erased a good majority of the Native American population with their immigration to America.

Although the meaning of Thanksgiving now is very humble and sweet, that is not how it started. Native Americans had to endure much suffrage during this time, they experienced genocide, mass murder, and colonization.

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving and spent time with their families, however, it is also important to make sure to consider the real roots of the holiday and recognize the loss associated with it.

If you would like to learn more you can go to,, or many other sources!

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About the Contributor
Maya Simpson
Maya Simpson, Opinion Editor
Maya Simpson is a sophomore at MHS and it is her first year writing for the MHS Auroran Today. She participates in swimming, tennis, marching band, model UN, and jazz at the high school. She enjoys laughing with her family, messing around with friends, and participating in her activities. She makes sure she focuses on school with a busy schedule. Currently, Maya is working on being more organized she started by deleting her entire drive.
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