The first American Thanksgiving feast was celebrated over a three-day period in 1621 in Plymouth, Mass., with European settlers sitting down with about 90 Native Americans to meals consisting mostly of wild game and fish. The fact the settlers were eating anything at all was probably the greatest cause to celebrate that year — the first winter in Massachusetts had wiped out fully half of the original Plymouth colonists.
It was a far different time of thanks in America than we find today. The gratitude expressed around the turkey in 1621 pretty much involved the very basics, such as "Boy, am I thankful I didn't get smallpox this year," and "Boy, am I glad I didn't starve or freeze to death last January" and "Gee, am I grateful I ran faster than Bob when that bear was chasing us."
Times have changed considerably since then, as have the kinds of fortunes for which Huntington Beach residents can count themselves thankful. There is, for sure, more to be grateful for than the gift of life.