Contrary to popular belief, the first Thanksgiving did not include turkey, pumpkin pie, or Indians. Our modern celebration of the holiday creates a caricature of that particular gathering between the Pilgrims and Indians, but it wasn't really the first Thanksgiving. (However, I will be eternally grateful for the modern translation of a holiday devoted to eating!)
In 1789, President Washington issued a proclamation for the first Thanksgiving to be celebrated in the United States. And I bet most people would be surprised to read of a President publicly acknowledging God's sovereignty and asking for (gasp!) a day of prayer. For many, though, Thanksgiving is just another secular holiday. It's sad how God tends to be taken out of everything in our country in the name of being politically correct.
Let this exerpt of the original Thanksgiving proclamation serve as an example of the roots of our great country. God has blessed our nation. It is our patriotic duty to be ever thankful to Him for everything.
"WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for
their safety and happiness:
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be...."
-George Washington, taken from The Massachusetts Centinel, October 14, 1789