It was partly due to the cultivation of corn, which needs a helping hand in order to propagate, that the earliest Native Americans became organized civilizations dedicated to agriculture.
By the time the first European settlers arrived corn was a well established crop all over South, Central and North America, each area boasting dozens of indigenous varieties.
Native Americans taught pilgrims how to grow corn, in fact it was prominent on the first Thanksgiving table next to the turkey.
The sweet corn which is preferred in the U.S. was discovered along the Susquehanna River in central New York. After the 1800's sweeter varieties were developed.
Ideally corn should be consumed very soon after harvesting, preferably the same day. It can be creamed, made into chowder, added to salads (particularly rice salad), or mixed with other veggies. But the best way to eat fresh corn is simply boiled or roasted with a dollop of butter melting on top.