Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Across the fence

For What Do We Give Thanks?


Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs meeting at the Camp Weld Peace Council on Sept. 28. 1864. Standing, (I believe the first man standing on the left is Governor Evans) second from the left is John Smith, to his right is White Wing and Bosse. (I believe the bearded man is Colonel Chivington) Seated from the left, Chief Bull Bear, Black Kettle, One-Eye, and an unidentified Native. Kneeling from the left is Major Edward Wynkoop, then Captain Silas Soule. (Photo is in the public domain, Photographer, unknown.)

Tradition has it that the first Thanksgiving Day was a harvest feast in 1621 when the Plymouth Colonists and the Wampanoag Indians joined together to celebrate. What did they celebrate? Were they celebrating friendship, survival, or a bountiful harvest? Perhaps they celebrated the successful beginnings of a diverse community where differences in language, lifestyle, religion, heritage and traditions were not divisive. It was most certainly a gesture of welcome from the natives who then inhabited this continent. But the hands of friendship that had been extended would too soon be severed by...

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