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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021



Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 --

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. As we celebrate, let us take a moment to reflect on all that we are thankful for. While today we eat turkey, mashed potatoes and might even turn on some football to celebrate, the origins of our Thanksgiving traditions are deeply rooted in our history. 


In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers. They were an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith. Others aboard the ship were lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the "New World"

After a treacherous crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and diseases. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from a member of the Abenaki tribe who greeted them in English. 

Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He was kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag; which would last for 50 years. 

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit.

While no record exists of the first Thanksgiving, much of what we know about what happened comes from Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow, who wrote:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let us be thankful to all our farmers for putting the food on our tables, our small business owners, our nurses, and our police officers who might not be able to be with loved ones this year. God bless you and your families Happy Thanksgiving.  

Choose Freedom, 

Cal Bahr

State Representative, 31B


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or me. If you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at

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