On a Mission Fall 2018

by SKI SCHANHER ADay of Public Felicity Thanksgiving Have you ever thought Thanksgiving to be a patriotic holiday? When we consider that Thanksgiving is at the heart of the American experience, intertwined with special moments in American history such as the coming of early European settlers, the American Revolution, Civil War, influx of immigrants, and westward expansion, you will discern that patriotism played a prominent role. Religious faith also played a part in these events. The commonly told story of the initial Thanks- giving is very familiar to most Americans—Pil- grims and Indians, turkey and cranberries, giving thanks. However, few Americans know much about the day’s multifaceted history. In 1620, one hundred and two English settlers, known as Pilgrims, sailed on the Mayflower , eventually landing off of the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Pilgrims were known as Sepa- ratists as they were dissenters who sought to freely engage in their faith by separating from the Church of England. These settlers named their new home Plymouth, after the English port city from which they had previously em- barked on their journey to the New World. Generations grew up picturing the first Thanksgiving taking place on a beautiful fall day with Pilgrims and Indians gathering out- doors around an extended dining table, sharing a bountifully festive meal. The famous 1914 painting by Jennie Brownscombe called The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth , depicts Indi- ans regaled in their full-feathered headdress- es with clothing featuring dull colors is full The famous 1914 painting by Jennie Brownscombe called The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth 6 | FALL 2018 ON A MISSION womenonamission.net

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