We are all familiar with the story we have been told in school and at home of the First Thanksgiving. We have seen the picturesque artwork and read the endless books painting a picture of a day of unity and thankfulness long, long ago that we celebrate today. Being in the industry of moving, we took special interest in the history of this holiday that celebrates some of America’s first “movers”, the Pilgrims. However, what we learned is that the day of feasting and togetherness that we celebrate each year actually has a much different history than commonly portrayed in the typical First Thanksgiving story. While there are MANY details and misconceptions regarding the First Thanksgiving, we decided to pick a few of our favorites…
The Pilgrims invited the Indians to join in celebration and feasting in a unified First Thanksgiving.
We often see the picture of Indians and Pilgrims sharing in a joyous Thanksgiving meal giving thanks for harvest. However, the Indians were not actually invited to the feast and we do not know if they took part in the feast peacefully or by force. The Pilgrims were actually celebrating their harvest alone with gun fire and loud cheering. The Indians heard this commotion off in the distance and prepared for battle. The Indians ran to meet the Pilgrims for war, but realized when they got there that the Pilgrims were actually celebrating. We have no idea what happened next for sure, but we do know that it was not the planned dinner party it is commonly portrayed to be.
They ate Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, and Cranberry sauce at the First Thanksgiving.
This is one misconception we can definitely confirm. During the time period of the First Thanksgiving it was most likely that the meal included some other sort of fowl such as duck with the definite addition of venison. As for the sweet potatoes, it was impossible that they were a part of the meal because they would not make their debut in the United States for many years to come. Finally, the Cranberry sauce was very unlikely at the time because the cost of sugar was so high that it was considered a luxury item.
Pilgrims dressed in black with pointed hats and buckles.
This one is the funniest misconception we came across. We have all decorated pilgrim hats and coloring sheets with buckles in our Elementary years, but this is actually not the way the Pilgrims dressed at all. So where did this idea of black and buckles come from? During the nineteenth century, when the idea of Pilgrims and Thanksgiving was formed, the buckle served as a symbol of quaintness. Nineteenth century propaganda prevailed and many years later this is still how we typically view the Pilgrims to be dressed.
To read about more common Thanksgiving misconceptions check out the attached links below.
Despite our numerous findings of fallacious Thanksgiving facts we have grown up on, one thing still remained in tact. People need to move, even centuries ago, the Pilgrims were in the market for a mover. Regardless of the twisted facts, we can all appreciate the time of togetherness, great food, and great thoughts that Thanksgiving brings us! Happy moving and Happy Thanksgiving!