How Long Did the First Thanksgiving Feast Last?

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The first Thanksgiving feast, in 1621, lasted approximately three days and celebrated the first Pilgrim harvest in the New World. The menu consisted of deer, clams and oysters in broth, corn, turnips and carrots, and wild turkeys stuffed with beechnuts.

More than half of the Mayflower arrivals died in their first winter of 1620-1621. The bountiful harvest late in 1621 assured their survival. Fifty-three settlers and 90 Native Americans danced, sang and played games. The first recorded religious Thanksgiving occurred two years later, in 1623, after a 2-month drought ended. Encouraged by President Washington, in 1789, Nov. 26 was set apart as a public day of Thanksgiving.