Pies were also not available at the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims had no butter or wheat flour to make pie crusts.
The first Thanksgiving did not have turkey. There were no turkeys in Massachusetts at that time.
There are two or three cranberry species that are native to the European, Asian and North American continents. However, the cranberry species we most commonly eat is only native to the Eastern United States and Canada.
Of all the Thanksgiving foods, turkey is the best known. Turkey was first domesticated by the Aztecs and brought to Europe, where it is also popular as a holiday food, in the 15th and 16th centuries. It may have actually been introduced independently at different times to Europe by both the Spanish and English.
Thanksgiving was a success for the Puritans in the new world. The celebration contained a spirit of brotherhood, community, and tolerance (if not genuine respect) for other cultures, such as Native Americans, since Squanto had taught the Pilgrims how to fish and how to grow corn.
"President George Washington proclaimed Nov. 26, 1789, to be Thanksgiving Day. Both Houses of Congress, by their joint committee, had requested him to recommend a day of public 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 to peaceably establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Thanksgiving has obvious religious overtones. It was a harvest celebration that acknowledged God as the Provider.
Thanksgiving was a day of celebration. However, that relations with Native Americans deteriorated rapidly over the next twenty years.
Typically Thanksgiving Day proclamations begin with the one issued in 1789 by United States President George Washington naming November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Next mentioned is often United States President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of 1863, which declared that the last Thursday of November should be celebrated as a day of thanksgiving.
Though the United States' thanksgiving celebration on the fourth Thursday of November began with the United States Congressional declaration of 1941 establishing that weekday as the legal holiday of Thanksgiving Day. Earlier United States Presidential Proclamations called for the last Thursday of November to be celebrated as Thanksgiving.