Thanksgiving Facts

Rob who I've linked to yesterday, left a comment with a link to an amazing resource on Thanksgiving myths and facts at his other website, Blue Corn Comics. Here is a taste.
* Only 35 of the 102 colonists aboard the Mayflower were Pilgrims. Others were fortune-seekers fleeing the depression in Europe or indentured servants.
* The colonists were supposed to join the tobacco plantations in Virginia. They landed in Massachusetts because of a storm or a navigation error, or perhaps because the leaders hijacked the expedition.
* The colonists didn't hack a home out of virgin wilderness, they settled on the already cleared land of Squanto's decimated village, Patuxet. Some of them took the Indians' belongings and even dug up their graves.
* The colonists didn't introduce the idea of celebrating the autumn harvest. The Eastern Indians had held such celebrations for centuries.
* The first Indian-Pilgrim get-together was merely a feast, not a true "thanksgiving," a particular kind of religious observance. The first real Calvinist Thanksgiving occurred in the summer of 1623, when the colonists declared a Thanksgiving holiday after rain saved their crops.
* Thanksgiving wasn't a national holiday until Lincoln made it one to spur patriotism during the Civil War. The Pilgrims weren't included in the tradition until the 1890s.
* Seventeen years after Squanto welcomed the Mayflower's Pilgrims, these Englishmen and their Indian allies burned a Pequot village on the Mystic River in Connecticut while its inhabitants slept.
Tomorrow, let us thank the original inhabitants of this land for their generosity toward the illegal immigrants from England.

See more posts on native Americans and history.


Janet Rubin said…
I did know a bunch of these, but I only owe it to home schooling. 95% of what I know I owe to homeschooling:)
Actually, Chelsey learned the thing about Lincoln at high school, and when she came home and told me, I didn't believe her!

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