History Is Wrong! The First Thanksgiving
Future Predictions in 1976 • A Royal Decree
One Minute Wit
Future Predictions in 1976
I recently found an old sheet of paper from 1976 with writing on it. As I read it, I realized it contained my predictions about future technology. Here is what I predicted:
“I envision a future where people will carry an impossibly small device in their pocket that is a computer, telephone, encyclopedia, atlas, food replicator, and camera all in one. People will use it to take excellent-quality photographs and send the photographs to each other through satellite communication.
Then oddly, the young people in that day will purposely degrade the photographs, so they look like they were taken by the cheap film cartridge cameras of today. And people in their 60s won’t understand why.” — Mark Starlin, 1976
I’m still waiting for the food replicator.
A Royal Decree
That defined fashion (for a time)
Everyone knew King Fruges was eccentric. Still, they were surprised the winter he made a royal decree that all clothing must be made from bird seed. It was a challenge, but it was going fine.
Until spring came.
And the surprisingly hungry birds returned.
History Is Wrong! • The First Thanksgiving
by Sterling Datebook
Many people think history is accurate. Wrong! Most history books were written by people who weren’t there. Writing about the past like they know what they’re talking about. Wrong! In my constant quest to get the real story, I have acquired a time machine (don’t ask how.) I will use it to travel back in time and uncover the truth about history. Shall we begin?
There are many misconceptions about the first Thanksgiving.
Perhaps you think they had pumpkin pies? Wrong! The pilgrims had precious little sugar and no butter or flour on that first Thanksgiving. And no oven to cook pies in. One pilgrim child made a mud pie, but it remained untouched.
Perhaps you think it took place on the last Thursday in November? Wrong! It was actually a three-day feast to celebrate their first successful harvest. The history books say the exact date is not known. Wrong! It was October 22–24, 1621.
I arrived in late September, and my phone battery died out long before the actual event happened. Unable to watch any more downloaded episodes of Dr. Who, I used my free time to insert myself into the group masquerading as a Canadian fur trapper. I simply added “eh?” to the end of many of my sentences and talked about hockey a lot. They were none the wiser.
Perhaps you think there wasn’t a Black Friday? Wrong! There actually was a Black Friday. Which was followed by Black Saturday, Black Sunday, Black Monday, Black Tuesday, Black Wednesday, and Black Thursday. The pilgrims were pretty consistent in their dress, preferring black clothes only. This monochromatic fashion choice was later adopted by Johnny Cash to great success.
Perhaps you think the first Thanksgiving was called “Thanksgiving.” Wrong! That name was adopted later because it was awkward to say, “Happy Three-Day Harvest Festival Designed To Give Thanks For Our First Successful Corn Crop And Not All Of Us Dying Last Winter.”
The Pilgrims set forth from Plymouth, England, in 1690 aboard the Mayflower sailing ship, bound for the New World. Many of the 102 Pilgrims aboard dreamed of religious freedom. Others hoped for wealth or simply a new life. Some thought there would be flying horses or dirigible airships. Those folks had their whiskey taken away.
After a brutal 66-day Atlantic crossing, the Pilgrims landed at the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination—Disney World. They found a hostile land with no pubs. They also discovered that New England winters can be harsh. Most of the Pilgrims had left their ice skates back in Plymouth, much to their dismay.
They spent much of the winter onboard the Mayflower. Disease swept through the small colony that winter, combined with exposure, killing 78% of the women. By spring, men and children far outnumbered women. Another reason there were no pumpkin pies. The menfolk couldn’t cook much.
The entire colony would have likely perished had they not received a visit from an English-speaking Abenaki Indian who went by the name of Harry Potter. Which wasn’t his real name, of course. He told the Pilgrims his Native American name was too hard for them to pronounce and told them to call him Harry.
Harry returned later with Squanto, a legendary member of the Pawtuxet tribe. Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain, sold into slavery, escaped to London, and eventually returned to his home. Despite his treatment by the English, Squanto remained kind-hearted and a snappy dresser. He taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the new land.
Squanto gave the Pilgrims lessons in cultivating corn, showed them which plants were safe to eat, how to catch fish in the rivers, how to extract sap from maple trees, and how to do some sweet dance moves.
Later he helped them forge an alliance with the local Wampanoag tribe that lasted over 50 years. Sadly it would be an extremely rare example of peaceful coexistence between Native Americans and European settlers.
The “Thanksgiving” feast gathering included twenty-two men, four women, and roughly twenty-five children and teenagers from the Pilgrim colony (the children were hard to count as they were continually in motion.) Plus, approximately one hundred Native Americans, including the great Indian king Massasoit, who was visiting the area and loved a good feast. Also in attendance was one fake Canadian fur trapper.
The native Americans brought five deer to the feast. The Pilgrims provided fowl, fish, and shellfish. Wild turkeys were common in the area, so yes, there was turkey. No mashed potatoes, though, as potatoes were not available yet. There was pumpkin, just not in pie form. It was gross. And a bunch of veggies, nuts, and berries. The four Pilgrim women recruited children and men to help with the food preparation. I recall one male Pilgrim spending most of his time holding a potato masher, saying, “What is this for?”
The feast was a success. In addition to feasting, the group played games and demonstrated their skills (or lack of) with a bow and arrow. It was a time of bonding and enjoyment.
One thing the history books did get right was the idea of Thanksgiving. This feast was a celebration and a time of giving thanks to God for the first harvest and for surviving the winter. Also, for their new friends who taught them to survive in a foreign land. The Native Americans practiced thanksgiving daily, so it was not unusual for them. Except the bobbing for apples part.
Happy Monday. Thanks for reading and responding. You make it fun.