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The Real Story of Thanksgiving

“The story of thanksgiving,”  the whole ordeal with how the Pilgrims and the Indigenous all worked together in perfect harmony and one day came together as one big happy family and ate a dinner of roasted turkey and mashed potatoes, right? While this is what many people teach kids, this is actually far from the actual story of the “first” Thanksgiving. 

Some things to keep in mind are: 

  • To start, the Pilgrims were not everything that people thought they were.
    • They started off on the wrong foot by robbing, massacring, etc. the Indigenous people
    • The European immigrants brought deadly diseases that killed many the Indigenous people
  • The Indigenous people weren’t even invited to the “first thanksgiving”
    • They apparently showed up after hearing gunshots
  • War continued to rage between the Pilgrims and the Indigenous people
  • Relations between European immigrants and the Indigenous people had never been good because of what Christopher Columbus did.

The list continues to go on and on, and I encourage you to do your own research.

Often we don’t hear about this side of the story because history is told from “the winners” side and therefore, a lot of history lacks the Indigenous point of view to counteract the extremely biased Pilgrim view we often get. 

While the origin story of this holiday may not be what you thought it was, or may not be what you wished it was, that does not mean that we have to stop celebrating this holiday. You can still gather around the table with family and friends and eat a feast! You can still all remember what you are thankful for on this day! And you can still spend time together! Instead of stopping the celebrations of Thanksgiving, why don’t we change it so it lives more up to its name? Let’s change it to a day in which we can do things and remember things which we are thankful for. But remember that the origin story of Thanksgiving is not what is generally taught.

Sources Used:

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About the Contributor
Sydney Moriarty, Senior Editor in Chief
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