Ok, enough of that. 2 weeks until Thanksgiving! My friend, Christina, had a post on her blog a week or so back that read my mind:
Retail TOTALLY skips over Thanksgiving! Now, I am not condoning the sweet Pilgrim & Indian story we were all taught in 1st grade. Because, anyone with a college degree from WSU knows, we were taught what really happened that First Thanksgiving. My heart was crushed, thanks to my professor, Dr. Francis.
Dr. Francis, you are evil! I knew it from Day 1, when you came skipping into our lecture hall at 6:59 a.m. singing and sipping your coffee. Who skips into class that early? Who in their right mind can be cheerful? Dr. Francis could, because he knew he was going to disprove everything we were ever taught in History as children.
*Sigh* I still remember that lecture. I was trying to sleep that morning, because my (then) baby, Tyler, had kept me awake 'til some crazy hour of the night. Enter Dr. Francis, skipping and singing at the top of his lungs. I knew all about Thanksgiving, and I aced every test in his class, so, again, I was trying to sleep. My pile of books in my bag were a wonderful pillow.
Evil Dr. Francis towers over me, his face contorted into the sick, cheerful smile he always wore. His hand was still raised high, triumphant at the heart attack it had surely given me from dropping his 40 pound briefcase on my table.
"You are going to love my lecture today, Ms. Moore," warned Dr. Francis, "We are going to learn what really happened that First Thanksgiving."
I sat up, glaring at him as I pulled out my 50 subject notebook that was already 3/4 full of notes from his lecture. My heart raced. What could he mean by "What really happened?"
"Ok, Dr. Francis," I thought, "You have my attention." I ignored the amused looks from some of my classmates and the annoyed looks from the Dr. Francis worshipers.
Dr. Francis then proceeded to ruin the beautiful picture I had painted in my head. Turns out, our European ancestors were starving over here. They did not know how to farm the land. The Indians, specifically the Wampanoag tribe, showed the "Pilgrims" how to plant corn, squash and other vegetables. They taught them which wild game were suitable for eating. When Harvest came, true story: there was a celebration. History still speculates on details. Here is one page from my notes from 8 years ago:
There are many myths surrounding Thanksgiving. Here are nine things we do know are true about the holiday.
1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.
Cooking all that for 3 days? Sheesh! One day kills me. No wonder she looks miserable!
2. The feast most likely occurred between September 21 and November 11.
3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists - the latter mostly women and children - participated.
They really did get along. See?
Anyone for Deer Meat?
5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes - white or sweet - and pies were not on the menu.
This ugly guy was though..
6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.
Squanto! Remember him?
7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.
8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.
9. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863.
No pumpkin pies? NO PIES?! How could this be true? NO POTATOES? Whatever! ALL LIES!
Ok, so I was a bit dramatic in my story. Dr. Francis was really one of my favorite people of all time, and I was one of the nerdy Dr. Francis worshipers. :) The stories we teach our Elementary aged students are not totally untrue, they just leave out important details.
Now, you all know what really happened that First Thanksgiving.
Lame ending huh? he he he...