The True History of Thanksgiving


Cara Jones

Thanksgiving is a holiday that Americans celebrate to practice gratitude and share a meal with loved ones. 


However, there is a lot more to this holiday that the average American is unaware of. 


“It just disregards (the centuries of brutality) against Native Americans and chooses to take this one tiny snapshot, and in the world of social media, it puts all the pretty filters on it so that it doesn’t look the way it truly did,” said Dr. Kelli Mosteller, Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center director stated on the Potawatomi website. (


The Thanksgiving Holiday started in November 1863. During the Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln officially established the holiday to improve relations between states, as well as between the U.S. Government and tribal nations. 


A year before the holiday was declared, a mass execution took place of Dakota tribal members. The government took away food supplies that the Dakota tribe needed, which caused the tribe to almost die and led to the Dakota War of 1862. The war ended with 38 men being killed by the U.S.


President Lincoln felt that the Thanksgiving holiday would help make peace between the Native and the U.S. government. 


There is so much more to the history of Thanksgiving and it is important to acknowledge the truth behind the holiday.