Some Thanksgiving facts


(Duoas) #1

I know that Thanksgiving is largely a U.S./Canadian holiday, but seeing as it’s that day here in the states here’s some neat stuff I dug-up on our favorite medium.


The quiz is broken on this site, so read the text first if you want to do well on the quiz.


Neat trivia from the History Channel.


Wikipaedia for freaks/nerds.

I personally am thankful for the many blessings I enjoy in my own life. I have a good, loving family. I live in a society where I am free to work, think, and worship as I please, without fear of reprisal or repression. I have good schooling with dedicated, thoughtful teachers. And I’ve many opportunities to bless other people through my own actions.

Happy Thanksgiving.


(Al_Capone) #2

And here’s the facts about the white wash of Thankgiven by the LVRJ

EDITORIAL: For what do we give our thanks?

Property rights helped Pilgrims prosper

As our modern gladiators chase a pigskin down the field in Dallas or Detroit, we settle into our living rooms, loosen our belts and remind the little ones this is the day we echo the thanks of the Pilgrims, who gathered in the autumn of 1621 to celebrate the first bountiful harvest in a new land.

The Pilgrims’ first winter in the New World had been a harsh one. The wheat the Pilgrims had brought with them to plant would not grow in the rocky New England soil. Nearly half the colonists died.
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But the survivors were hard-working and tenacious, and – with the help of an English-speaking Wampanoag named Tisquantum (starting a long tradition of refusing to learn three-syllable words, the Pilgrims dubbed him “Squanto”) – they learned how to cultivate corn by using fish for fertilizer, how to dig and cook clams, how to tap the maples for sap. And so they were able to thank the Creator for an abundant harvest that second autumn in a new land.

The only problem with the tale, unfortunately, is that it’s not true.

Yes, the Indians did graciously show the new settlers how to raise beans and corn. But in a November 1985 article in The Free Market, a monthly publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, author and historian Richard J. Marbury pointed out: “This official story is … a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning.”

In his “History of Plymouth Plantation,” the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the fields, preferring to steal. Gov. Bradford recalled for posterity that the colony was riddled with “corruption and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.”

Although in the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622 “all had their hungry bellies filled,” that relief was short-lived, and deaths from illness because of malnutrition continued.

Then, Mr. Marbury points out, “something changed.” By harvest time, 1623, Gov. Bradford was reporting that, “Instead of famine now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Why, by 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists actually began exporting corn.

What on earth had transpired?

It was simple enough. In 1623 Gov. Bradford simply “gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit.”

Previously, the Mayflower Compact had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.”

A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed – a concept so attractive on its surface that it would be adopted as the equally disastrous ruling philosophy for all of Eastern Europe some 300 years later.

“A form of communism was practiced at Plymouth in 1621 and 1622,” agrees Tom Bethell of the Hoover Institution in his book “The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity through the Ages.”

“Under the arrangement of communal property one might reasonably suspect that any additional effort might merely substitute for the lack of industry of others,” Mr. Bethell notes. But once private ownership was substituted, “Knowing that the fruits of his labor would benefit his own family and dependents, the head of each household was given an incentive to work harder.”

They say those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Yes, America is a bounteous land, but the source of that bounty lies not primarily in the fertility of our soil or the frequency of the rains. There is hardly a more fertile breadbasket on the face of the earth than the Ukraine, where for decades crops rotted in the field under a Soviet administration that allowed no farmer a private profit incentive to hire enough help to get the turnips picked.

No, the source of our bounty is the discovery made by the Pilgrims in 1623, that when individuals are allowed to hold their own land as private property, to eat what they raise and keep the profits from any surplus they sell, hard work is rewarded and thus encouraged, and the entire community enjoys prosperity and plenty.

And so it is that on this Thanksgiving Day we ask God’s continued blessing on America – a land blessed most of all by our inherited concept of private property rights, the system that allows each to keep the profit of his sweat and toil – and for this reason the land of peace and plenty, the envy of mankind, the land of the free.

A version of this editorial first appeared on this page in 1999.


(toontje) #3

I’ll never understand the strange and distorted history of America. There is a memorial day for 9/11 and yet none for the genocide on the American indians.
The Pelgrims are portrayed as being the victims of religious prosecution, but I think that it is rather that they are a certifiable bunch of looney religious fanatics (even more than Al Qaeda). I don’t have the historical facts, but I think I would prosecute a group too if I ever found out that they were burning ‘witches’ like it was a common thing to do. You must have been a cold heartless to set another human being on fire. And if this is their M.O. with their own people, it is more than likely that the indians would had suffer more.


(Duoas) #4

I never meant to start a Hate America thread.

I never said that all Americans are saints. Many were (and are) rebels and discontents. But many more were willing to sacrifice a great deal for a land where they were free to work and worship as they please.

Toontje, you need to get the historical facts before you make blanket generalizations about several different groups.

Any European who wants to begin depreciating American history as savage and fanatical obviously has not studied the history of his own continent. So back off!

This thread wasn’t meant to spew hate history. Throughout the entire history of the world, there have been people who, even though they may have had personal failings and not have had all the insight we do, were courageous enough to work for that which was right in the sight of man and God. We Americans believe that those who came before us were courageous enough to enter the path that lead to the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. The path wasn’t perfect, and we are not today perfect; no one can claim otherwise.

What’s wrong with a tradition where we render thanks to God, nation, family, and friends for the freedoms and associations we enjoy?


(valarking) #5

Yes, toontje, even though we slaughtered the Indians that helped us that Thanksgiving the year after, we Americans try not to dwell on that. Too mean.

:wink:

I’m being amazed every day in my US History class at the amount of lies we feed children here… mainly regarding the Puritans.

And BTW, toontje, you have your religious nuts mixed up. You’re thinking of Puritans, not Pilgrims. They tell the little kids here that they came for the same reason, but they didn’t.


(toontje) #6

One positive thing though, they didn’t eradicate the turkey unlike what the Portuguese did with the dodo. One can only wonder what dodo would have tasted like hmmm… :-?


(bmax) #7

Probably like chicken. The most exotic animals taste like chicken. The crocodile for example. I kid you not! An art teacher of mine was from Zimbabwe; one time, we were talking about what snake would taste like or crocodile, and she said that crocodile tastes like chicken. They serve it in restaurants down there. My conclusion: for all those who are uppity about the exotic food they’ve eaten, it’s not that special! It probably tastes like chicken anyway. :wink:


(Duoas) #8

‘We’ didn’t slaughter anyone the year after. We were too busy starving to death.
http://www.tolatsga.org/wampa.html


(LohnS) #9

ah thanksgiving, i give thanks to flame wars =P

maybe im glad i dont celebrate it here o_O


(Falgor) #10

I live in a practical pagan country.
Though I’m a christian and mean it (not like the majority of the ppl in here), we dont celebrate thanksgiving. Maybe we should, I dont know. It’s just not a tradition here.


(Duoas) #11

Well, Thanksgiving is a decidedly American holiday. Some of the links I posted made note that in the eyes of the Plymouth settlers (and others both before and after them) true thanksgiving is a very religious thing, not the secular feast celebrated with the American Indians.

There’s nothing to prevent you and your family from inviting some friends over and feasting together, giving thanks for what bounty you enjoy in Finland (or <insert your country here>). God doesn’t exclude non-Americans from blessings.

True thanksgiving comes from the way you live your life. Do you use it to bless others through your service and friendly countenance? Do you lift others up when they feel down? Can you inspire them to hope for a better day and a better life, because that hope and faith is inside you? Are you truly grateful? If so then be happy!


(ascotan) #12

Though I’m a christian and mean it (not like the majority of the ppl in here), we dont celebrate thanksgiving. Maybe we should, I dont know. It’s just not a tradition here.

Well according to wikipedia a ‘day of thanks’ has been a tradition dating back to the middle ages and many people throughout europe established them. The pilgrims in america dedicated a day of thanks. Apparently there is no set day set apart as a day of thanks anywhere in the world - it’s sort of a spontaneous event.
Thanksgiving as we know it in the u.s. was established formally as a national holiday during the civil war - when the country was having a difficult time. However days of thanks have been common previous to this.
There is no reason that one’s family can’t set apart a day of thanks for the things that they have - it doesn’t need to be a national holiday.


(ascotan) #13

I’ll never understand the strange and distorted history of America. There is a memorial day for 9/11 and yet none for the genocide on the American indians.
The Pelgrims are portrayed as being the victims of religious prosecution, but I think that it is rather that they are a certifiable bunch of looney religious fanatics (even more than Al Qaeda). I don’t have the historical facts, but I think I would prosecute a group too if I ever found out that they were burning ‘witches’ like it was a common thing to do. You must have been a cold heartless to set another human being on fire. And if this is their M.O. with their own people, it is more than likely that the indians would had suffer more.

The certifiable religious fanatics came from europe (the piligrim spent 10 years in holland before coming to america). They were persecuted to an extent but mostly wanted to establish a place for themselves with their own religous beliefs.
Also witch buring came from europe where it was far more severe.
I don’t know of a memorial day for 9/11 (maybe you can enlighten me).
I’m not sure where your learning about american history but it sure seems to need a polishing up.