The First Thanksgiving

Although Ireland does not celebrate Thanksgiving, they had a very big part to play in it’s creation. The ”first Thanksgiving” was actually celebrated on Feb 21, 1621 when a band of starving pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were saved at the last minute by the arrival of a ship from Dublin bearing food from Ireland.

The Boston Post discovered the earlier date for the Thanksgiving ritual. It showed that the traditional date of the autumn of 1621 was actually incorrect. According to a columnist for the Boston Post, the Pilgrims in the winter of their first year were starving and faced the end of their project to colonize the new world when “a ship arrived from overseas bearing the much needed food.”

Because of anti-Irish prejudice at the time, they neglected to name it as an Irish ship. The Irish ship was called The Lyon, “its provenance and that of the food was Dublin Ireland.” It turns out, that the wife of one of the prominent Plymouth Rock brethren was the daughter of a Dublin merchant and that it was he who chartered the vessel, loaded it with food and dispatched it to Plymouth.

The Irish connection was not admitted, even though a number of Irish organizations challenged the issue. Nonetheless, the Massachusetts historical records revealed the tale, giving the Irish a fair claim to saving Thanksgiving.

Us Irish like to help out where we can and in 2015 we were ranking the 9th in the World Giving List. Not bad for a small country in the Atlantic!

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