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The Real History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for the family to come together, make time for tradition, and to bring in the holiday season, however, often times, many forget about the true nature of the First Thanksgiving and how it almost ended in war.

As colonizers overtook the Massachusetts and Rhode Island’s states, the Native American tribe known as the Wampanoag were alerted by gunfire close to their tribe. In order to find out what was happening, the chief sent 90 men to check out the surroundings.



As Wampanoag and pilgrim meet, it was not as pretty as we have been painted to believe. The Native Americans waited to see if colonizers were prepared for a fight. As they waited, there were reports of them eating with Colonizers but make no mistake, there was no shared meal. Native Americans may have gathered food with colonizers, but for the most part, they kept to themselves as they waited for a possible war.


According to voanews.com, “We know it took place over three days sometime between mid-September and early November in 1621 and was considered a harvest celebration following a successful planting of multicolored flint corn or maize…”The food was bountiful but much different than what we eat now.



Anyway, I say all of this to say, Thanksgiving did not start out as some big celebration of thanks. What this story fails to mention, is that Native Americans were nearly decimated as colonizers overtook the United States. Most interactions were not met with understanding and curiosity, but often with the devastation of disease, rape, and the pillaging of tribes and land.


A'aryonna Fontes

PS Behrend '18

I am loud and I am opinionated. Basically me in a nutshell. :)
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