But as a national event, the holiday dates to 1863. That year, President Lincoln proclaimed “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise” for the nation’s blessings in the face of the Civil War that was raging.
Why, then, do we associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims? In the late 1800s, with immigrants — Jews, Italians, Chinese, other outsiders — pouring in, America’s cultural leaders took two bits of shaky historic evidence from the early 1600s and embraced a story of a Pilgrim Thanksgiving in an effort to Americanize an increasingly diverse population. The myth of our holiday’s Pilgrim origins took hold.
— A Short Course On The History of 8 Thanksgiving Foods, by Amanda Moniz for The Washington Post
Jared’s Note: We’re posting some thoughts throughout the week on cooking Thanksgiving dinner, as we are prepping to host it here at Al Dente HQ. Stragglers and strays are welcome, pending DNA testing. Some of these will be useful, some will be funny. Some will be both. Some will be neither.