A Native American View By Mike Ely It is a deep thing that people still celebrate the survival of the early colonists at Plymouth — by giving thanks to the Christian god who supposedly protected and championed the European invasion. The real meaning of all that, then and now, needs to be continually excavated.
Journalist The Truth About Thanksgiving: What They Never Taught You in School The real story The truth aboutthanksgiving the first Thanksgiving is neither as simple nor as consoling as the pared down account we learned in The truth aboutthanksgiving class would suggest.
Fleeing religious persecution, the Pilgrims sailed from England, landed on Plymouth rock over two months later, barely survived their first winter. With the help of Squanto and the friendly Wampanoag, who taught them how to exploit the local fish and game, plant corn and squash, and also protected them from other hostile tribes, the band of colonists succeeded in establishing a tenuous foothold at the edge of the North American wilderness.
The first Thanksgiving in was held to celebrate a bountiful harvest with the tribe that helped make it possible. The real story, it turns out, is neither as simple nor as consoling as this pared down history would suggest. Not that the historians agree on what the real Thanksgiving story is.
And it isn't just historians who are squabbling over the significance of America's feast day. It is ordinary Americans like-- well-- Rush Limbaugh for example, who are weighing in on the events of four hundred years ago. They did sit down and have free-range turkey and organic vegetables, Rush allows, "but it was not the Indians The popular talk radio host blames the Pilgrim's communal work ethic and equal sharing of the fruits of their labors for the colony's rocky first year in which half of the one hundred settlers perished of starvation and disease-- "The most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!
This revisionist history is greeted with bemusement by professional historians.
But Limbaugh is not alone in using Thanksgiving to score some political points. While Thanksgiving's enthusiasts view it as a celebration of the boldness, piety and sacrifices of the first European migrants to American shores, the holiday's critics claim that it whitewashes the genocide and ethnic cleansing of indigenous people.
If you happen to spend Thanksgiving in Plymouth Massachusetts this year, you can choose between two public commemorations. You can watch the official parade, in which townspeople dressed like pilgrims march to Plymouth Rock bearing blunderbusses and beating drums.
Or you can stand on the top of Coles Hill with indigenous people and their supporters and fast in observance of what they call a "national day of mourning" in remembrance of the destruction of Indian culture and peoples.
These two events represent radically different visions of American history. The official version, the one we learn in school, essentially starts with the landing of the Mayflower in in a small bay north of Cape Cod. In the Native version, on the other hand, the appearance of the Pilgrims on American shores marks the beginning of the end.
In fact, the end times began for Massachusetts Indians several years earlier, when British slaving crews inadvertently introduced smallpox-- carried by their infected cattle-- to coastal New England killing over ninety percent of the local population, who lacked antibodies to fight the disease.
Compare this astonishing figure to the 30 percent death rates at the height of the Black Plague. While the decimated Wampanoag helped the British boat people survive their first harrowing year, Native Americans say that the favor was not returned.
A group which calls itself "The United American Indians of New England" alleges that in return for Indian generosity, Pilgrims stole their grain stores and robbed Wampanoag graves.
The historical evidence for grave robbing is a bit thin. And perhaps we can forgive the starving Pilgrims for pilfering a little Indian corn. In any event, this petty thieving doubtless ended with their first ample harvest, which was celebrated with a three day feast. It remains an open question, however, whether the Wampanoag were actually invited, or if they crashed the partyas some historians now suggest, when they heard gunfire from the stockaded village and came to check out what the commotion was all about.
There is also the much debated question of what was on the menu. There is no evidence for turkey, it turns out, only some kind of wild fowl-- likely geese and duck-- venison, corn mush and stewed pumpkin, or traditional Wampanoag succotash.
Cranberries, though native to the region, would have been too tart for desert, and sweet potatoes were not yet grown in North America, though grapes and melons would have been available.
The notion that the first Thanksgiving was some kind of cross-cultural love-fest, as it has been portrayed, is also disputed by historians, who say that the settlers and the Indians were brought together less by genuine friendship than by the extremity of their mutual need.In Connecticut valley towns, incomplete records show proclamations of Thanksgiving for September 18, , as well as , and after Instead of just celebrating special harvests or events, these were set aside as an annual holiday.
Let’s open to the Word of God, the fourth chapter of Acts, and we’re looking at a chapter that essentially is built around one single theme, the predominant part of this chapter running down through. Oct 27, · Watch video · Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving occurs on Thursday, November In , the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest.
Setting people straight about Thanksgiving myths has become as much a part of the annual holiday as turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Nov 28, · The true story of thanksgiving and not the Disney fairytale told to you when you were growing up.
Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday celebrated each year at the end of November. Learn about the history of Thanksgiving, facts about the Mayflower and the Pilgrims, and more.