Remember When …

The photo is from the 1940’s my family on the farm. Photo provided

The photo is from the 1940’s my family on the farm. Photo provided

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, please enjoy your family at home (or over the Internet this year). With this community tradition, we share a meal together. It started more than 399 years ago in America and started in Canada in 1578.

Thanksgiving used to be a three-day event, when it began in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 with about 50 Pilgrims/English Colonists and 90 Wampanoag people. We are told the first Native Americans were a big help to the colonists and taught them how to grow things in the new country.

So, they shared their harvest together on this day. Living by the Atlantic coast there were lots of different foods to eat for the first meal, such as corn bread, lobster, oysters, fish, duck, goose and even venison. And for dessert, pumpkin and cranberries.

When George Washington was President in 1789 he called for an official “day of public Thanksgiving and prayer” and Congress agreed. It wasn’t an annual tradition until President Abraham Lincoln announced a national celebration for the Thanksgiving Holiday, Nov. 26, 1863 during the Civil War.



There are 16 other countries that celebrate this holiday. Even though we don’t all eat the same food, we all agree, it is time to be thankful and especially for the harvest of that year. The first American football game on Thanksgiving Day was 1876 where Yale and Princeton played. So, does anybody know who won?

Americans now days love this festive time of the year, starting the Christmas holiday season, parades, being thankful, black Friday sales and time for family and friends to be together. But don’t forget to watch a football game together and eat up to 4,500 calories in a meal. Ask your grandparents about their old traditions. Do you have any favorite memories you would like to share?

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email