Thank you, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, for the insight to fund Christoper Columbus's voyage to the Indies (that's all the lands of East Asia many moons ago). Thank you, Christoper Columbus, for thinking the world was smaller than it actually is, and also thinking you could get to the Indies quicker by heading west. Without your "shortcut," who knows when America would have been discovered.
Do you know that Columbus is the person that helped start an agricultural revolution in Europe? He sure did. He took back seeds for different varieties of corn, peppers, beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. And the sharing went both ways, with plants and livestock being brought to America. No one ever had pumpkin or turkey until came from North America. Everyone benefit from this one man's thought that he could get to the Indies by going west to get east.
Of course, we can't by any means forget many other explorers like John Cabot, Ponce de Le'on, and Henry Hudson. Their continuing to explore brought about many new and wonderful surprises about our world. If I had a hat on, I'd take it off and salute you, but instead I'll give you my thanks.
And then there were the settlers. Those men and woman who risked all to come to our new world looking for religious freedom, a means to better their station in life, and adventure. It was by no means easy. Many of the colonists didn't survive, especially during early settlements, like Jamestown. Thank you to the settlers who traveled such a great distance to give us a new beginning.
A mighty big thank you goes out to the Powhatan Indians and Pocahontas (Matoax). Thank you to the Wampanoag tribe and Squanto (Tisquantum), too. We give thanks to all of the Native American tribes, and I apologize for not being able to list them all. Without your help, our colonists would not have survived to see their first Thanksgiving, sharing it with Massasoit and the Native Americans he brought with him to the feast.
Our first national Thanksgiving was actually proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, quite a while after the first Thanksgiving feast. When that was is sort of a question. Some say it was with Francisco Coronado in 1540, others in Maine in 1605. Then there's 1619 Massachusetts, and what most come to settle on as being 1621 with the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth. No matter what the date, I am thankful for being here, enjoying a meal with friends and family, giving thanks to everyone who came before me.
So, there you have it folks. My brief and I'm sure somewhat spotty knowledge of Thanksgiving. From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving day. Our country truly is a great one and would not be what it is today without the pain and suffering, joys and discoveries, and everything else that folks have gone through in our history. It's not always been a pleasant history, but it has shaped our country and made it what we are today. Be thankful, enjoy your meal, and above all, give thanks. Smiling & Waving, Sharon