What do you know about Thanksgiving’s origins? Many of today’s American parents were taught that the Pilgrims and Native tribes sat together, exchanged food, and found a way to create peace.
The truth about Thanksgiving is that disease and massacres were on the menu. If you ask the surviving Wampanoags about the holiday, they’ll say it is a time of deep mourning.
Here’s a truth bomb: the first Thanksgiving was actually held in 1598 in Texas by Juan de Onate after a 350-mile hike through the Mexican desert.
How many other Thanksgiving myths are lingering out there?
Worst Myths to Debunk About Thanksgiving
1. Thanksgiving Was About Family
The original Thanksgiving holiday was a multicultural event. It was never about bringing your family together to stuff your face full of turkey. Even if you believe the Pilgrim origin story elements, they invited the Native tribes to join them.
2. Turkey and Cranberries Were Original
Did you know that the current tradition of having turkey with cranberries on Thanksgiving comes from the Victorian era? Since that culture was the one to create the holiday, their habits became part of the process. The one food we know that the original settlers had was deer. Anything beyond that is just conjecture.
3. There Is Only One Thanksgiving
When Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving would be a holiday, his proclamation said that the event should be held in November… and in August. Most Americans outside of New England didn’t even recognize this tradition until the 1863 declaration.
4. Plymouth Rock Was the Key
The first person to tell the story of Plymouth Rock was Thomas Faunce, a 95-year-old man with dubious references. Their first landfall was at Provincetown anyway. Still, going to Plymouth to see a rock stamped with 1620 does make for an exciting little adventure.
What tips do you have for surviving the Thanksgiving experience?