The first interesting thing to point out is that the feast shared with the Wampanoag Indians and the first mention of Thanksgiving is really not the same event. Thus, the first mention of the word - "Thanksgiving." Let there be no mistake here. On that first Thanksgiving there was no turkey, no corn, no cranberries, no stuffing, and no dessert. Those fortunate Pilgrims were lucky to get a piece of fish and a potato. All things considered, it was a Thanksgiving feast. Now during the first winter in 1621, 46 of the 102 pilgrims died. Thankfully, the following year resulted in a plentiful harvest. The pilgrims decided to celebrate with a feast that would include 90 natives who helped the pilgrims survive during that first winter. One of the most celebrated of those natives was a Wampanoag who the settlers called Squanto. He taught the pilgrims where to fish and hunt and where to plant New World crops like corn and squash. He also helped negotiate a treaty between the pilgrims and Chief Massasoit. This first feast included many fowl, though it is not certain that it included turkey, along with venison, corn, and pumpkin. This was all prepared by the four women settlers and two teenage girls. This idea of holding a harvest feast was not something new to the pilgrims. Many cultures throughout history had held feasts and banquets honoring their individual deities or simply being thankful for the bounty. Therefore Thanksgiving remains a day with religious and patriotic overtones, commemorated with special services by all faiths, with its main emphasis upon the gathering of family and friends. This is the essence of the way it began, and we've successfully preserved it for 378 years.