In Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1621,53 men, women and children celebrated their first harvest in the New World.
The great Indian chief, Massasoit, brought 90 of his men to the three-day party.
From all reports, a good time was had by all.
How did this event, which happened almost 400 years ago, become a part of the American story and our oldest national tradition?
Credit goes to many people, but two stand out.
One you know, and one you should know: Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Josepha Hale.
More on both in a moment.
As a religious people, Americans have always had a keen sense they have been blessed by Providence.
The pilgrims certainly felt this, and so did subsequent generations, including George Washington.
Washington was the first president to declare a national day of public thanksgiving and praise.