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First Thanksgiving: Pilgrims Grateful for Miracles

Everyone knows the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving feast in the New World. But what you may not know is just why they were so thankful. Read Transcript


Reporter: HERE AT

PLYMOUTH PLANTATION, NEAR

THE SITE OF THE ACTUAL

PILGRIM SETTLEMENT,

REENACTORS PORTRAY THE

SETTLERS AFTER THEY ARRIVE.

IT IS DISPLAYED IN A

RE-CREATION OF A SUNDAY

SERVICE.

LET THY SPIRIT GUIDE US.

Reporter: BUT YEARS

BEFORE, IT TOOK MIRACLE

AFTER MIRACLE FOR THE

PILGRIMS TO SURVIVE THEIR

FIRST FEW MONTHS IN THE NEW

WORLD AND MAKE IT TO THE

FIRST THANKSGIVING.

LEO MARTIN GIVES TOURS IN

THE MUSEUM.

HE SAYS THESE RELIGIOUS

SEPARATISTS WERE NOT TO BE

TRIFLED WITH.

HE FINALLY LOOKED AT THEM

AND SAID, I CANNOT WAIT

UNTIL YOU FOOLS DIE AND I

CAN DUMP YOUR BODIES INTO

THE OCEAN.

AND THE NEXT WEEK HE DIED,

AND THE PILGRIMS PUT HIS

BODY IN A SHROWD AND DUMPED

HIS BODY INTO THE OCEAN.

Reporter: WHEN THEY

LANDED OFF-COURSE TO THE

NORTH, THE CRUEL, HARSH

WINTER KILLED MORE THAN HALF

OF THESE PILGRIMS.

THEY STARTED TALKING

ABOUT TWO OR THREE PEOPLE

DYING A DAY.

SO HALF THEIR COMPANY IS

DEAD.

Reporter: NEARLY OUT OF

FOOD, THEY WERE LIVING ON A

RATION OF JUST FIVE KERNELS

OF CORN A DAY.

MOST OF THE MOTHERS PERISHED

BECAUSE THEY GAVE THEIR

PORTIONS TO THEIR STARVING

CHILDREN.

THOSE 18 MARRIED WOMEN,

14 DIED THE FIRST WINTER,

SACRIFICING THEMSELVES FOR

THE FIRST GENERATION.

BUT EVEN IN THE MIDST OF

ALL OF THIS, THE GUIDANCE OF

GOD WAS EVIDENCE.

THEY FOUND HERE, ABOVE THE

FAMOUS PLYMOUTH ROCK, A

PLACE THAT

PERFECTLY,

MIRACULOUSLY MET THEIR

NEEDS.

A RIVER OF FRESH, CLEAN

WATER, STREAMING WITH FISH,

AND THEN A HIGH HILL, THE

PERFECT LOCATION FOR THEIR

CANNON, SET TO WARD OFF

SPANISH, FRENCH, OR NATIVE

ENEMIES.

AND THEY DESPERATELY NEEDED

A LARGE, PLOWED FIELD NO

LONGER CLAIMED BY ANYONE.

THEY FIND THREE ACRES OF

CLEARED FARMLAND, WHICH THE

NATIVES HAD ABANDONED.

Reporter: BECAUSE THE

PLAGUE KILLED MOST OF THEM.

SO NOW THEY'RE WIPED OUT

BY A PLAGUE, SO NO OTHER

INDIANS WOULD COME ON THE

PROPERTY.

Reporter: AN UNKNOWN

INDIAN WOKE UP AND SPOKE

ENGLISH.

HOW YOU DOING?

YOU'VE GOT A BEER?

Reporter: HE LED THEM

TO A SQUAD, LED BY THIS MAN,

OF THE NEARBY WA WANPANOG

TRIBE.

AND HE TAUGHT THE

PILGRIMS HOW TO PLANT THE

NATIVE MAZE OR CORN.

IT DID SAVE THEM BECAUSE

THE WHEAT AND BARLEY

WOULDN'T TAKE TO THE SANDY

SOIL.

THE CORN DID.

Reporter: AND HE SHOWED

THEM HOW TO USE THE

PLENTIFUL FISH IN THIS RIVER

AS FERTILIZER.

B.

BY THE NEXT FALL, THE CROP

HAD THRIVED ENOUGH, THE

PILGRIMS DECIDED TO GIVE

THANKS TO GOD, AND INVITED

THE MASSASOYA TO HAVE DINNER

WITH THEM.

AND THE NATIVES FEASTED AND

CELEBRATED SIDE BY SIDE.

BUT THE PILGRIMS DIDN'T

FORGET THAT STARVING TIME

THAT KILLED HALF THEIR

NUMBER.

HE PUT FIVE KERNELS OF

CORN ON EVERYBODY'S PLATE,

AND ASKED EVERYBODY TO GIVE

HIM FIVE THINGS THEY WERE

THANKFUL FOR THAT FIRST YEAR

IN PLYMOUTH.

Reporter: PLYMOUTH

HONORS THE PILGRIMS

YEAR-ROUND, WITH SUCH THINGS

AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT,

TOPPED BY THE FEMALE FIGURE

ENTITLED "FAITH."

AND LINCOLN, WHO IN 1863,

MADE THANKSGIVING A NATIONAL

HOLIDAY.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS

THE ALMIGHTY DEALS WITH US

AS NATIONS, AS WELL AS

INDIVIDUALS.

Reporter: AND MUCH OF

THE NATION MAKES ITS

GRATITUDE KNOWN EVERY

THANKSGIVING TO THE GOD,

WHO'S DIVINE HAND, GUIDED

THESE BRAVE PILGRIMS.

PAUL STRAND, CBN NEWS,

REPORTING FROM PLYMOUTH,

MASSACHUSETTS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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