For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is marked by stuffing their faces with turkey with gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie for desert. Throw in a short nap in the recliner and a couple of NFL football games, and the day is complete. But the roots of Thanksgiving are traced back to the arrival of the Puritan Pilgrims in the New World. The Pilgrims weren't familiar with the agricultural tricks of the trade in their new homeland. Thanks to a Native American man named Squanto, the Pilgrims learned to farm and hunt on their new land, as well as what dangerous plants to avoid. Governor William Bradford called for a celebratory feast after the Pilgrims found that they not only could survive, but they could thrive. For three days, the Pilgrims and their Native American friends gave thanks with meals and celebration. Though we've adopted some new rituals along the way, the same spirit of Thanksgiving is still alive today.
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If you're planning on deep-frying your turkey for Thanksgiving, HowStuffWorks Now recommends reading this first.