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SHEDDING LIGHT ON THANKSGIVING



The Associated Press, New York, carried this short piece on the first Thanksgiving:


"This time of year, classrooms across the United States are filled with tales of the first Thanksgiving feast. But children might not be getting the whole story, says Kenneth C. Davis, author of the 1990 best-seller "Don’t Know Much About History."


In "Don’t Know Much About the Pilgrims," Davis sheds new light on the Pilgrims’ voyage and their lives in the New World:


- The Pilgrims would not have identified themselves as such -- they were known as "saints" or "First Comers," and they made up only about half of the passengers on the Mayflower. The rest were members of the Church of England who sought property and were called "Strangers."


- The Pilgrims thought it was dangerous to wash their bodies and did not change clothes or bathe during the 66-day journey aboard the Mayflower.


- Children aboard the Mayflower stayed below deck, out of the sailors’ way, most of the time. After the boat landed, though, one young boy nearly blew up the ship while his father was out exploring by setting off firecrackers and firing a musket.


- A true "thanksgiving" for the Pilgrims would have involved fasting and prayer. What is now called the first Thanksgiving was actually a harvest festival in 1621. Wild turkey was served at the three-day feast, along with ducks, geese, cod, salmon, lobster, mussels, eels and clams.


SOURCE: Shedding light on Thanksgiving THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NEW YORK. The Olympian, Olympia Washington. Wednesday, November 19, 2003

http://www.theolympian.com/home/news/20031119/

living/152982.shtml.



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