Historians believe that shellfish, wild fowl and five deer were served at the first Thanksgiving meal at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in November 1621. The meal celebrated the autumn harvest and is believed to have included the meat of geese, turkey, ducks and the deer, which were brought as a gift to the English settlers by the people of the Wampanoag tribe. The meats are thought to have been stuffed with onions, nuts and herbs, rather than the bread-based stuffing of modern Thanksgiving meals. Flour and sugar typically were not available in the area at that time, so historians do not believe that any desserts were served at the first Thanksgiving meal, and potatoes had not yet made their way into the country.
More about Thanksgiving:
- Thanksgiving Day was not an official annual holiday in the US until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the holiday to be observed each year on the last Thursday in November. The holiday was changed to the fourth Thursday in November starting in 1942.
- About 90% of Americans serve turkey at their Thanksgiving meals.
- The first Thanksgiving celebration is believed to have included sporting events, such as target shooting and stool ball, a game that is similar to cricket.