Thanksgiving stands out in the holiday season because it is open to just about everybody. It isn't tied to any specific religion, and you can pretty much celebrate it however you want. The only essential traditions are to enjoy a meal with friends or family and to give thanks for what you have. In the world of holidays, Thanksgiving is about as simple and pure as it gets.

The holiday also honors American history, of course. In countless Thanksgiving plays, American children have told the story of the first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans celebrated the autumn harvest in cooperation and acceptance.

Have you ever wondered where the particulars of this story and the other details of Thanksgiving actually come from? In this article, we'll look at the origins of the many things we associate with this day.