Our national holiday stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony's first successful harvest - this is what we were all taught in school. Here is a slightly different point of view...
In September/October 1621, the Pilgrims had just harvested their first crops, and they had a good yield. They â€œsent four men on fowling,â€ which comes from the one paragraph account by Pilgrim Edward Winslow, one of only two historical sources of this famous harvest feast. Winslow also stated, â€œwe exercised our arms.â€ â€œMost historians believe what happened was Massasoit (the Wampanoag Chief) got word that there was a tremendous amount of gun fire coming from the Pilgrim village,â€ â€œSo he thought they were being attacked and he was going to bear aid.â€
When the Wampanoag showed up, they were invited to join the Pilgrims in their feast, but there was not enough food to feed the chief and his 90 warriors. â€œHe [Massasoit] sends his men out, and they bring back five deer, which they present to the chief of the English town [William Bradford]. So, there is this whole ceremonial gift-giving, as well. When you give it as a gift, it is more than just food,â€ said Kathleen Wall, a Colonial Foodways Culinarian at Plimoth Plantation.
The harvest feast lasted for three days. What did they eat? Venison, of course.â€ Was there turkey? â€œFowlâ€ is mentioned in Winslowâ€™s account, which puts turkey on Wallâ€™s list of possibilities. She also said there probably would have been a variety of seafood and water fowl along with maize bread, pumpkin and other squashes. â€œIt was nothing at all like a modern Thanksgiving,â€ she said.
So, this year as we sit down and give thanks for everyone & everything in our lives, remember that cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are fairly modern takes on the "traditional". Enjoy!!!Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/11/22/wampanoag-side-first-thanksgiving-story-64076
Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Out & About
Looking for something to do this week? Here are some events for you and your family to enjoy!
1. Thurs, November 21st - 6:00 pm at the Wilton Historical Society (224 Danbury Rd, Wilton, CT): JFK - 50 Years Later.
2. Thurs, November 21st - 7:30 pm at the Avon Theater (272 Bedford St. Stamford, CT) - Legends of Rock Live: Garage Bands of the 1960's Rare Clips.
3. Sat, November 23rd - 3:00 -6:00 pm (Summer & Hoyt Streets) -SAC Capital Advisors Giant Balloom Inflation Party. Join us for this backstage look at the parade and watch the giant helium balloons come to life.
4. Sun, November 24th - 12:00pm (Summer to Broad to Atlantic Streets) UBS Parade Spectacular - one of the largest events of its kind in the country!
5. Thurs, 11/28 - 10:00 am (Westhill Football Field) Annual Homecoming Football Game, Westhill vs. Stamford High.