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We All Know The Story of the First Thanksgiving - Or - Do We?

Geri Main Turkey

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 “sent four men on fowling,†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, “we exercised our arms.†“Most 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,†“So 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. “He [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,†said Kathleen Wall, a Colonial Foodways Culinarian at Plimoth Plantation.

The harvest feast lasted for three days. What did they eat? Venison, of course.†Was there turkey? “Fowl†is mentioned in Winslow’s account, which puts turkey on Wall’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. “It was nothing at all like a modern Thanksgiving,†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!!!



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.

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