Tomorrow, many Americans will partake in one of our country’s long-running traditional holidays: Thanksgiving. Since 1789, our tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving changed off and on throughout the years until 1942 when Congress decided that the holiday would be observed every fourth Thursday in November. When we think of it, most of us think of the food, which mostly includes turkey, pumpkin pie, etc., and some of us think of being together with our families. However, we must remember how Thanksgiving came to be. We were all taught in school about the first Thanksgiving where the pilgrims came to the new world, established the Plymouth Colony. After being taught by the Wampanoag tribe to live off the land, both the pilgrims and Native Americans had a meal that lasted three days after their first harvest in 1621.

But let’s think for a minute why the pilgrims came to the Americas. In the history we learned in school, the pilgrims were originally part of a Puritan sect of the Church of England, which is run by the British government since 1534. This sect believed their congregations should be separated from the government-run church, and after facing persecution for that particular belief — even being called Separatists — they went into exile in Holland before establishing a new settlement in Plymouth in 1620.

Nolan Schmidt is an independent filmmaker, and serves as Vice Chair for the Guadalupe County Libertarian Party.

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