The event referred to as the first Thanksgiving took place in the fall of 1621 to commemorate Plymouth Colony's successful harvest. Governor William Bradford and Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe brought together colonists and tribal members for a three-day feast.
Bradford was accompanied by the 50 colonists who survived the past particularly brutal winter. Massasoit attended with 90 of his warriors. The group feasted on wild game, including turkey, duck, geese and venison, as well as corn, green vegetables and dried fruits. In addition to sharing the meal, the colonists and the Native Americans entertained one another with athletic and military demonstrations. This autumn feast gained national attention in 1841, when Dr. Alexander Young dubbed it "the first Thanksgiving," giving rise to the traditional American celebration known today.