In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is Columbus Day in the United States. In the United States, it falls on the fourth Thursday of November.
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).
But did you know that Native Americans view this day as a day of mourning? To them it represents oppression, greed, and cultural annihilation. Something they don't teach you in grade school and something I certainly wasn't aware of until I started researching the meaning of Thanksgiving. So for anyone who's interested in reading a book on what really happened at Thanksgiving, try reading '1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving' by Catherine O'Neill Grace. The reviewer states that "it's a well-researched and beautifully photographed account of the Wampanoag side of the events leading up to the first Thanksgiving". And while this book is meant for children ages 8-12 . . . it's on my reading list . . .