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The Big Three Thanksgiving Myths

 

Plimoth Plantation

Over the weekend, I visited Plimoth Plantation as a “refresher” course before our annual FUN 107 Morning Show broadcast on the day before Thanksgiving.  This is a great time of year to visit the place where one of America’s favorite traditions began. 

Like most things, Thanksgiving has evolved over the years and has borrowed from different influences in becoming the celebration we all know and love.  Here are a couple of actual facts that you may not have known about the pilgrims and that first Thanksgiving.

Turkey wasn’t the original main course.    Turkey might not even have been served at the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration.   Deer, lobster and a ton of shrimp were on the table. but probably no turkey.   While the Wampanoag tribe and the early settlers hundted fowl, they could have just as easily bagged ducks and geese instead of the big bird for the three-day feast.   Corn, crab, fish and in season veggies made up a majority of the food enjoyed by the Native Americans and the battered newcomers on those autumn days so long ago.     

Cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes were not on the menu.   When those legendary Mayflower voyagers arrived here in the new world, they didn’t bring sugar with them.  That means cranberry sauce was a later addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.  However, fresh cranberries were likely eaten.  Sweet potatoes weren’t available either.  Pumpkins were on the menu, but not in the form of pie.  So although carrots, peas and squashes could have been eaten at that time, there were no sweet-potato dishes and cranberry sauce. 

Pilgrims dressed in a variety of colors without buckles.   Buckles on the hat, on the shoes, and big buckles on the belt are standard Thanksgiving day apparel visions.   It seems the Pilgrims didn’t deck themselves out with buckles at all, since they weren’t even in style at that time.   Also, black ad white were not the only colors available.   Women typically wore blue, brown, gray, green, red and violet.   The men also had color options other than the black and white we see in all those paintings of the first Thanksgiving.

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