Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Trivia

(This card is designed by the fabulous Kara. Gobble, gobble)

Q: Which native population first developed half of the world's current food crops?

A: You guessed it! The Native Americans! We have two days off of work to celebrate the enormous contribution that Native Americans have made to our lives. Horray!

Q: Which single disease killed the largest percentage of people in any region?

A: British fishermen in Massachusetts spread a plague in 1617 that killed between 90 and 96 percent (HOLY MACKEREL!) of the Indians in southern New England.

For more interesting facts about Thanksgiving, check out this article. The added bonus to this article is that the facts are based on journal entries of early settlers. (Do I hear the ears of all you genealogy buffs pricking up?) James Loewen has dedicated his life to researching history using old artifacts, and he has written lots of books so that you don't have to reproduce his research! Rethinking Our Past is my favorite book of his. He is very witty.

Here are a few excerpts from the above article:

"Indians are marginalized in this civic ritual. Our archetypal image of the first Thanksgiving portrays the groaning boards in the woods, with the Pilgrims in their starched Sunday best and the almost naked Indian guests. Thanksgiving silliness reaches some sort of zenith in the handouts that school children have carried home for decades, with captions like, "They served pumpkins and turkeys and corn and squash. The Indians had never seen such a feast!" When his son brought home this "information" from his New Hampshire elementary school, Native American novelist Michael Dorris pointed out "the Pilgrims had literally never seen `such a feast,' since all foods mentioned are exclusively indigenous to the Americas and had been provided by [or with the aid of] the local tribe."




"Colonel Thomas Aspinwall, advises us not to settle for this whitewash of feel - good - history. "

"It is painful to advert to these things. But our forefathers, though wise, pious, and sincere, were nevertheless, in respect to Christian charity, under a cloud; and, in history, truth should be held sacred, at whatever cost."

As a fellow seeker of truth, I wish I had access to more unfiltered truth. And that truth wouldn't use such big words.....I had to break out the dictionary for 'advert'.

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