November 26, 2022

A short history of Thanksgiving

On Thursday, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This is the continuation of a tradition started long before the establishment of The United States of America. The very first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrims.

When the Pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts on Nov. 11, 1620, they had been harassed, imprisoned and cheated by both their own English King James I and the Dutch government, where they had fled in order to practice their own form of religion.

In England, in 1607, these people, called Separatists, desired to live a quiet life and worship God according to the teachings of the Bible. The Separatists used the so-called, Geneva Bible, also used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell and others. It was soon to be replaced by the King James translation of 1611.

King James, to put it simply, was a tyrant. He was enraged by the Separatists who dared to obey God, rather than the King. He promised to “Harry them out of the land – or else do worse.” The small congregation of Separatists sold all their possessions and tried to escape to Holland, just across the English Channel, where there was at least a degree of religious freedom.

During two years of attempts to sail to Holland, they had been turned over to the King’s soldiers, robbed of all their possessions and thrown into prison. They were finally able to settle in Leyden, Holland.

They spent 11 years in Holland enjoying the religious freedom permitted to them. They discovered the secrets of civil, economic and religious liberty, based on the Bible and over 700 years of English Common Law.

During this period, they suffered from poverty. The Dutch labor unions denied them any of the good jobs, and their children were forced into the heavy labor of the sweatshops. Amid all of these difficulties, they decided to immigrate to the wilderness of America.

Their journey was to be a difficult one filled with hazards. Sailing in two ships, one began to sink and they were forced to return to Holland. Many were forced to return to England. Some volunteers left for America, a two-month journey, on board the Mayflower. They intended to land in New York, but storms forced them to the Cape Cod area, where they landed at Plymouth Rock in November 1620.

This left them in the position of not having a legal destination, or charter, from the King. On Nov. 11, 1620 six men gathered in the captain’s cabin. There they signed the Mayflower Compact. This document established a “government of the people.” This was a unique event in all the history of man. It gave to the people the right and authority to establish laws and constitutions under God’s direction. It also established the foundation for America’s Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Initially established as a communal (socialist) farming organization, they suffered two years of failure and near starvation.

In 1623 Governor William Bradford gave each man a plot of ground to plant his own crops. This led to a bumper crop. The harvest was so bountiful that the governor declared a day of “Thanksgiving to God” for His rain and provision of a bountiful harvest. This was the first Thanksgiving Day.

We should remember this story of Thanksgiving Day again this year. Thanksgiving Day has been founded on God’s gifts to us and our nation of both religious and political freedom.

These events have special significance to me, as I am directly descended on, my mother’s side, from Governor William Bradford. I thus have a personal reason to oppose socialism and instead, promote individual responsibility. These characteristics have been the foundation of our nation’s success.

The price of gas in Creston was $1.86 a gallon on Jan. 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated. It now sells for $3.43 a gallon, an 85% increase. Bacon was 99 cents a pound and now is selling for $12.99 for a pound and a half, that works out to $8.66 a pound. Inflation runs rampant. Our emergency national petroleum reserve is nearly empty. Drug gangs are uncontrolled and human trafficking is causing thousands of illegal immigrants to suffer in unthinkable misery. It seems like the chaos is intentional.

Let us give thanks to God for all the blessings we celebrate this Thanksgiving Day 2022.

Mike Lang, Chairman, Union County Republican Committee