<\body> Stories in America: The Truth Behind Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Truth Behind Thanksgiving

Like most Americans, I'm planning to enjoy a nice meal with my family today and I've promised my mom to refrain from talking about politics or the origins of Thanksgiving, so I'll post it instead:
Thanksgiving is a lie. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

There's no more truth to the Hallmark moment of Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a feast of squash, corn and turkey than there is to Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag. No definitive historical evidence exists to prove either patriotic legend. According to my favorite history text, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen, it was all manufactured to create a feel-good beginning for this country.

Thanksgiving wasn't invented by the Pilgrims. By the time the Mayflower pulled up at Plymouth Rock in 1620, Native Americans in that part of the country already had a rich tradition of marking the fall harvest with a major fiesta. The day wasn't recognized nationally until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a holiday. He had an entirely different motive than honoring the Pilgrims: Morale during the bloody Civil War. America needed a warm fuzzy holiday to make it feel good about itself again.

The Pilgrims were latecomers to the legend, not getting added to the mix until the 1890s.

Of course, some major revisions had to be done to make heroes of those guys. The truth is: When the Pilgrims arrived on the coast of Massachusetts, they found a deserted Native American settlement. Unburied human bodies were scattered everywhere. The survivors had vanished. The villagers had been wiped out by a plague, brought to the "new world" years before by the Europeans. The immune system of the native peoples had no defense against those diseases. Many in Europe couldn't be happier.

Good Christian that he was, King James of England called the death of millions of Native Americans "this wonderful plague." He thanked God for sending it. Other preachers of the day echoed this same sentiment. They believed that God had aided the conquest of the new land by sending disease to ravage the native populations, so that the English could have it. How convenient for them that God was on their side.

The Pilgrims, who were ill-equipped to survive in the harsh environment they found themselves in, immediately took advantage of the situation. They proceeded to rob food (including corn and squash) and pottery from the deserted Native village. They also stole from Indian graves. Within about 50 years of arriving, they had slaughtered most of the native population in the area that wasn't already killed by the plague.

Not the touchy-feelie story you'll see on TV this week.

23 Comments:

At 10/27/2008 7:18 AM, Anonymous RAIN said...

Makes sense. I think it is a BS holidday!

 
At 11/25/2008 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bs or not i like the turky and exsesive amounts of sleep and another plus is... NO SCHOOL! :)

 
At 11/25/2008 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WOVE TURKY!

 
At 11/25/2008 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I REALLLOVE TURKY AND ALL THREE 3 COMENTS THAT R FROM ANONYMOUS :)

 
At 11/25/2008 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow its just like what they teach us about with Columbus.

 
At 11/26/2008 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so true what ananymous said about Columbus, who's next?......Washington

 
At 11/26/2008 8:09 AM, Blogger Serpentine Symphony said...

HOLY FUCK, I LOVE TURKEY~

 
At 11/26/2008 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy socks I love...nothing. :(

 
At 11/26/2008 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe thategrhierrvmk/.v/d/ dssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

 
At 11/26/2008 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is so fucking stupid

 
At 11/26/2008 8:20 AM, Blogger LUCYLALACEE(= said...

hey

this is true

ahahaha


thanks for telling the truth(:<333

 
At 11/26/2008 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

かかし
Πذ‰ψつぞび

So eat it.

 
At 11/26/2008 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

すし!!!!

 
At 11/26/2008 8:57 AM, Blogger The T Rex said...

Thats all the past and now todays the present and we should not always think about the bad things in life, we should think about the good things and how much happiness this holiday has made people. Something we shouldn't be happy about is Twilight because the movie was very bad

 
At 11/26/2008 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

b***th

 
At 11/26/2008 9:09 AM, Blogger JustJack said...

Woah I knew it wasn't all caring and giving but slaughterm. I blame the entire thing on Colubus for starting the whole mess. If thanksgiving was a lie let us create our own holiday.

 
At 11/26/2008 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guy should think abouts the food only

 
At 11/26/2008 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

turkey

 
At 11/26/2008 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bitch bitch bitch

 
At 11/26/2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah ahhah

 
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