How many Pilgrims made the journey to America? Around 102 passengers, 30 crew
What was the name of their ship? Mayflower
What port did it leave from? Leiden, Netherlands
What month and year did they arrive? Nov. 1620 (two-month journey)
Name five last names of people from the first ship? Bradford, Cooke, Moore, Fuller, Browne
When was the first Thanksgiving reported? Leviticus, the third book of the Bible. In Leviticus 7:13 we find the first use of the term “thanksgiving,” and it is described as a fellowship offering to the Lord. This celebration was centered on the Israelites thanking the Lord for all of the blessings and grace he showered on them after their departure from Egypt.
When was the first Thanksgiving held? Approximately 1445 B.C. The Israelites were recognizing their weakness in not trusting the Lord to provision them and, even more, apologizing for putting the Lord to the test during the 40-year period they were in the desert.
What was the name of the Indian tribe the Pilgrims celebrated with? Wampanoag
Where in the Bible do you find this verse—the first reference to the word “thanks”? 1 Chronicles 16:34-35…Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
In Washington’s proclamation of Thanksgiving, delivered in 1789, he said:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Lincoln followed up in 1863, stating:
“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
When you hear these two proclamations, several things stand out. First, these two proclamations by two of our greatest leaders recognize the importance of having a nation blessed by the Lord. Second, one cannot ignore the timeliness of these proclamations as they could very well be describing our nation today. Third, they were offered by imperfect people who represented all of us and our imperfections.
Lastly, why do we thank the Lord for his blessings, protection, and grace? One reason is that the Lord wants to hear from us. The Lord appreciates our acknowledgment of his blessings and grace. Another reason relates to the Washington and Lincoln proclamations—we have a duty and responsibility to our nation to offer thanks to the Lord.
The blessings we receive from the Lord are best summarized by Lincoln:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole of the American people.”