When was Thanksgiving started? There is a traditional story for Thanksgiving, and there is an extension named the Pilgrims. These are repeatedly heard in school history books, and there is one more peanut treatment found in ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.’ All these start by 1620 when the seasick and cold Pilgrims stepping off the Mayflower into Plymouth Rock.
No, it even doesn’t start after a year when Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag were sitting together for breaking the bread. It was not created when they celebrated their first and successful harvest, along with a long, harmonious relationship to come.
No, it doesn’t even start there since those things didn’t happen in reality. Even though they were immortalized in the mythos of American for generations, it didn’t happen.
In 1620 the Pilgrims spent in the Wampanoag village of Patuxet for few weeks. They renamed it Plimoth, and there is a guarantee that they never step off onto Plymouth Rock. Based on the 1621 feat, the genesis based on which today’s Thanksgiving celebration is done, there was a small feast. But, for the same, there was no invite for Wampanoag, but they showed up later. The role they played in helping Pilgrims to survive through sharing sources, as well as wisdom, went without acknowledgment that day. The same mention is based on the accounts of the toasts Pilgrim leaders gave.
There is no mention of Pilgrims in first Thanksgiving by Lincoln. The first national Thanksgiving Day was celebrated, but there is no invoke present on Pilgrims. It was in the year 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. It was celebrated, focusing on reconciling a country after the throes of the Civil War.
Thinking on a parallel track, there is a story on Pilgrims’ forefathers coming to the New World. They even found America primarily for religious as well as freedom gained steam. After that, since New England Protestants were wielded the myth since they wanted to earn the top spot in America’s cultural hierarchy above immigrants and Catholics. The information is based on historian David Silverman’s story in his book. The book’s name was “This Land Is Their Land-The Plymouth Colony, Wampanoag Indians, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving.”
But, Americans were always expecting the origin of the story. They also wanted it without soaking either in the blood of Native Americans. Meantime they didn’t want it to be built on the backs of slavery. All they wanted was a humble as well as the bloodless story of 102 Pilgrims. They wanted a story of Pilgrims who were forging towards a path in the New World. According to Silverman, they were all in search of religious freedom. Irrespective of whether the story is rooted in historical fact or not, the same was accepted as such.
By the year1963, different tracks finally met. They also crossed when President John F. Kennedy immortalized the same in a new Thanksgiving Day proclamation. He baked the plaits together, and it was like the bread broken and then shared in the mythic as first Thanksgiving feast.
Now, it is also found that there is no mention for the month both in the historically accurate story of the Pilgrims as well as in the founding of Plymouth Colony 400 years ago. The month mention is not present in most of the history books read in schools. Similar information is also not found in the famed Plymouth Rock or the Mayflower II and even at Pilgrim Memorial Park in Plymouth. It is nothing but the replica of a cargo ship that turned people carrying the Pilgrims and crammed into while crossing the Atlantic.
A George Washington University professor, Silverman, has asked a question. ‘How can we improve on the sorry record if we have no understanding of the sorry record?’
A spokesman for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Steven Peters, says, ‘There is the only single way forward, and that understands history as the way it happened. Some Mashpee and Steven, along with Herring Pond Wampanoag tribe members, are working with museums and some platforms like Vimeo. There is an effort to elevate the history of indigenous people. They are the ones who lived in the same region for over a thousand years, and it was long before the arrival of Pilgrims.
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