I’ve heard the story of the first Thanksgiving many times, yet I could never keep the info or confuse it with other facts. For instance, I keep forgetting that the pilgrims came to Plymouth on the Mayflower and Christopher Columbus came over with the Pinta, Nina, and the Santa Maria. I always have a vision of Columbus sailing the Mayflower. He also didn’t sink it on icebergs–Jack and Rose was on another ship. So I just want to educate you guys on the first Thanksgiving, even if Pink Floyd thinks it’s unnecessary.
I had to do a bit more research than usual for this post so I actually went to the History Channel Online and I bought a book about Thanksgiving:
Yeah, it’s a children’s book, but it was really hard to find a book on Thanksgiving for adults. Also, I have to give this book credit. They didn’t pull any punches on the facts. It talked about death and other serious subjects. I don’t know how this book got past the PC/helicopter parenting folks, but I’m glad it did.
The Pilgrims left England to avoid religious persecution. That is some serious devotion to leave your country for another on a wooden ship. They were on that freakin boat for 66 days. Real ballsy. What also sucked was that they arrived in Plymouth during the winter, so they had to spend most of the winter on the ship. I feel sorry for the dude who was assigned waste bucket removal. They were able to build their colony once the winter left.
Dumb ass colonists.
By the time Spring showed up, half of the settlers died, which was about fifty people. What a bummer! Imagine living with 100 people and half of them die in a few months. That’s a lot of fish food. Anyway, the pilgrims had trouble planting food. They just couldn’t get it right. One day an Indian called Samoset walked up to the pilgrims and spoke in English, “Welcome, Englishmen.” Talk about a mind freak. Apparently he learned English from fishermen along the east coast. Samoset left and returned with another Native American, Squanto. He taught the pilgrims how to plant seeds proper, catch fish, and other stuff. Samoset also brought along the chief and sixty Indians. Before the Pilgrims could get out the smallpox blankets, the chief wanted to make a peace pact and they both shook on it.
Greetings, white man from town.
They agreed to protect each other’s peoples when trouble arrived and that pact lasted for at least 50 years. When November 1621 came around, the Pilgrims had a very successful harvest, mostly because of Squanto, and invited the Indians over to celebrate. When the chief returned with 90 Native Americans, the Pilgrims realized that they did not have enough food. The Indians that showed up went hunting and brought back a bunch of deer. With the extra hunted meat, they all were able to eat until they were full.
“I guess she didn’t like the cornbread, either.”
Just to touch on one more thing about stuffing; although there is no record of stuffing at the first Thanksgiving, the idea of stuffing has been a global practice, even up to the Roman era. However, the idea of having stuffing at Thanksgiving wasn’t popular until Kraft made a marketing blitz. That’s right, Stove Top made stuffing popular on Thanksgiving. That’s why they sell 60 million boxes of the stuff every Thanksgiving. That’s crazy. Hess must’ve got their Hess Truck toy advertising ideas from Stove Top cause it’s so ingrained into our culture. I have to give them props for that.