The colonists impaled "King Phillip's" head on a spike and displayed it in Plymouth for 25 years, as a macabre effigy to the strife. The festivities also lasted three days, since it took the Wampanoag a solid two to walk there. This week we take a closer look at what happened next – after the first Thanksgiving. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared a Thanksgiving Day on the last … "It was their brainchild to have this national holiday called Thanksgiving, and its popularity grew through time, but it was actually a pretty smart move to establish something to unite families. For many people, the story of Thanksgiving stops at the harvest and the “happy ending.” Often people never stop to think what happened next – in the same way many never think about what happened in Native history after the treaties and the reservations. Yes, Virginia, there was a first Thanksgiving, but it didn't go exactly as planned. "It was a socio-political move to try to reunite the North and the South after the Civil War to have this national holiday," says Peters, of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Matthew Klint November 27, 2020 45 Comments. That's how native people came to be present at the first Thanksgiving, says Ramona Peters, historic preservation officer of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which suggests that paintings depicting Native Americans sitting down for a bountiful and harmonious meal with colonial families is basically a lie. Share on Twitter. Massasoit showed up with ninety people, most of them young men with weapons. There is no political agenda behind this video. Thanksgiving_1861_croped-428x300. … It wasn't until 1863, during the Civil War, that Thanksgiving became a national holiday. The Pilgrim militia responded by marching around and firing their guns in the air in a manner intended to convey menace. As you can imagine, Thanksgiving is a big deal for us! Thanksgiving remains the most treasured holiday in the United States, honored by Presidents since the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln used to stir northern patriotism. How often do you celebrate the holiday without ever giving real thought to the meaning of giving thanks. So when you gather around your table this Thanksgiving, spare a moment to think about what happened back when the English first arrived and how much Native people still suffer in our country today. We have a long way to go until we’re truly one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all. President Abraham Lincoln furthered an idealistic Thanksgiving narrative for strategic reasons. The short answer is yes; the longer answer is yes, but it's complicated. A prevalent opposing viewpoint is that the first Thanksgiving stemmed from the massacre of Pequot people in , a culmination of the Pequot War. The Thanksgiving story you know probably goes a bit like this: English Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they found a rich land full of animals and were greeted by a friendly Indian named Squanto, who taught them how to plant corn. While it's true that the settlers at Plymouth and their allies from the Wampanoag tribe gathered in 1621 for an epic, three-day feast to celebrate the settlers' first successful harvest, that's far from the end of the tale. Now, what really happened on Thanksgiving is soooooo wrong, I mean like I almost cried while writing this. Giving thanks is a big part of the Wampanoag members' spiritual life, she adds. Wednesday, November 14, 2007. The Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest in the fall of 1621 by firing guns and cannons in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The tribe, also known as the “People of the First Light,” will have a number of reasons to give thanks this year. The Thanksgiving today is the wrong story, here's how we teach it: Thanksgiving was the day when we broke bread with the Indians and eated a feast. It wasn't until 1863, during the Civil War, that Thanksgiving became a national holiday. “The Wampanoag people, men, were not really sure what they were being told was actually true, so they stayed around for a few days. The true story is more complicated. Today, many Native Americans and others mark Thanksgiving as a solemn day of remembrance instead of celebration. Why trust us? Although Americans now celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November, historians can't pinpoint the exact date of the very first Thanksgiving. It ended when Metacomet was killed, beheaded and dismembered, according to It Happened in Rhode Island. The real roots of Thanksgiving: Rethinking what happened 400 years ago at the first feast in Plymouth . President Abraham Lincoln furthered an idealistic Thanksgiving narrative for strategic reasons. The First Thanksgiving: What really happened. Historian Nathaniel Philbrick said it all began with a religious sect that wanted to escape the power of the Church of England. Today, Native Americans commemorate Thanksgiving in different ways. A lot of bloodshed took place both before and after that first feast. What Really Happened on Thanksgiving? By the fall of 1675, they began to skirmish with settlers and attacked settlements in Connecticut and Massachusetts. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. The noise alarmed ancestors of the contemporary Wampanoag Nation who went to investigate. As the story commonly goes, the Pilgrims who sailed from England on the Mayflower and landed at what became Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 had a good harvest the next year… So we think that is also a spike related to a holiday weekend. Print. For many years, Massasoit and the Pilgrims remained allies, trading English goods for Wampanoag land, natural resources and other assets. "English gardens probably produced cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, colewort (collards), parsnips, turnips, beets, onions, radishes, lettuce and spinach, as well as sage, thyme, parsley, marjoram, fennel, anise and dill," Sheehan says. As a result, the Puritan forces attacked the Narragansett stronghold, killing up to 600 Natives and about 150 settlers in the bloody battle. If you're cooking for a big crowd this year, take comfort in the fact that more than 100 people came to the first Thanksgiving – and they didn't even have running water! PLYMOUTH, Mass. Way before Thanksgiving became a national American holiday, it was celebrated all around what we think of now as the … For many, the settlers’ arrival wasn’t the beginning of a new world, but the end of one. Blame school textbooks, children’s stories and animated specials. Thanksgiving has often served political ends. For that reason, Native Americans and supporters have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving Day since 1970. It was about turkey and dressing, love and laughter, a time for the family to gather around a feast and … What values do the various versions reflect? The truth is, there’s a lot that we don’t know. It ended when Metacomet was killed, beheaded and dismembered, according to It Happened in Rhode Island. Yes, Virginia, there was a first Thanksgiving, but it didn't go exactly as planned. Wampanoag abducted settlers and held them ransom, and settlers pillaged and destroyed Native villages. What was actually eaten at that first Thanksgiving is far different from the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing that grace many holiday tables today, according to experts at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Of course she had waited until sunset, so I would be monitoring her in the dark. It decimated both the Native tribes and the colonies. 11 Awkward Things That Happen At Thanksgiving Dinner Every Year. What Really Happened To Delta Air Lines On Thanksgiving? “What really happened?” There are many questions that circulate around what the truth about Thanksgiving is, and there is now conclusive proof of what really happened. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures. This was recorded to have taken place in the autumn of 1621 in Plymouth. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. USA TODAY. Jump to Comments. They also agreed that, when trading, the settlers wouldn't bring their guns and the Natives wouldn't bring their bows and arrows, to further ensure peaceful commerce. I really wanted her to have her calf before I left. What Really Happened on the First Thanksgiving? With less than 12 hours remaining until I was to get on a plane, I noticed that she was finally in labor. Joey Garrison. What Really Happened? By Sarah Kavanagh and Holly Epstein Ojalvo ... Overview | Why are there so many different interpretations of what happened on the first Thanksgiving? His successor, Metacomet, only fanned the flames. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Metacomet feared the Natives would lose claim to more land, and built a coalition of various Native tribes to protect themselves. Not that the historians agree on what the real Thanksgiving story is. 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