The Evolution of Thanksgiving

By: Carlos Johnson

OwlFeed Journalist

In 1621, the Colonists and the Native Americans had their first harvest in the Americas. They had a huge feast to celebrate their harvest that would last for three whole days! Later they would celebrate by having a huge meal every year, which later became known as Thanksgiving.

To go more into detail, the Pilgrims rode on the Mayflower, and came to the Americas to escape their country, finding land at Plymouth. Then, they built seven houses, a common meeting area, and a storehouse. They then started their feast.

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According to, having been celebrated for almost 500 years, the menu options for Thanksgiving have more or less changed over time, and by more or less, I mean a lot. The only menu item that we have that was eaten at the First Thanksgiving was our beloved turkey.

Our juicy, tender, centerpiece turkey was not even the centerpiece at the First Thanksgiving. Even though it was there, it wasn’t favored over other fowl that they had, such as ducks and geese.

So you may be wondering what WAS at the First Thanksgiving to eat. Don’t get your hopes up if you are a picky eater. According to, the choice of fowl was between geese and ducks. They also ate venison (which is deer meat).

Surprisingly, the First Thanksgiving also consisted of seafood. This included eels, and various shellfish, such as lobster, clams, and mussels.

Vegetables that were eaten at the First Thanksgiving were the same old same old. They had squash, onion, turnips, carrots, and pumpkins.

Furthermore, much of our delicacies that we eat during Thanksgiving were not present during the First Thanksgiving. There was no pumpkin pie (the Indians did not have the materials to make a rich pastry, and if they did, it was really stale, and was stuffed with meat). Mashed potatoes weren’t even invented during this time, as well as sweet yams (with the marshmallows), and cranberry sauce.

Residents in Arizona have some words to say about the First Thanksgiving, and their differences. Carter Johnson has a lot to say. “I am most definitely [a picky eater]. My favorite Thanksgiving food is the turkey, because I like meat,” he said.

Carter then goes on to saying that the turkey is literally the only thing at Thanksgiving that he likes. If he had to pick a food he disliked the most it’d be “stuffing. It looks nasty, and I don’t plan on touching that anytime soon.”

So next time you eat your Thanksgiving dinner, you can look back on this article, and find some historical context on your large meal.