Thanksgiving, a cherished holiday in the United States, is often associated with gratitude, family gatherings, and feasting. However, according to James W. Baker, the senior historian at Plimoth Plantation, there is evidence that suggests the ways people celebrate Thanksgiving today are nothing more than invented traditions.
Baker argues that the popular narrative surrounding Thanksgiving lacks historical accuracy. He points out that the commonly held belief that Thanksgiving originated solely from the Pilgrims' feast with Native Americans in Plymouth Colony is a simplistic and incomplete understanding of the holiday's origins.
One of the main pieces of evidence supporting the idea of Thanksgiving as an invented tradition is its evolution over time. Baker explains that Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it as such in 1863. Prior to that, Thanksgiving was celebrated in various forms and on different dates across the country.