Like many people in the United States of America – not everybody – but many take time to celebrate the last Thursday of November for Thanksgiving to honor the day Native Americans and Pilgrims ate pumpkin pie, turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and cranberry sauce.
Wow, this is far from the truth. So here are five historical facts about Thanksgiving and about your turkey.
1. Thanksgiving is a day to remember the Pilgrims:
Actually, when Abraham Lincoln proposed the national holiday in 1862, Thanksgiving was created to bring the nation together after the Civil War.
In fact, according to historians, in 1621 when the feast occurred, there were no prayers or giving thanks during the feast.
2. Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving:
No, not really. Indigenous tribes in the states take this time to mourn the deaths of their ancestors that died in the hands of the Pilgrims that killed 400-700 Pequot tribal members (mostly women and children were burned or taken as slaves while the men were hunting and preparing for war) in 1670.
They also mourn the 90 percent of other Native American tribes, who were killed by plagues brought by the Europeans and genocides in the Americas.
3. The Pilgrims and Native Americans ate Turkey:
Well, there is no proof that turkey was eaten. And there isn’t any proof that pernil was served either – even though I love my pernil with some moro (yum, yum).
But there are documents of the Wampanog (Native American tribe), who brought several reindeers to the feast.
4. After the feast the Pilgrims and the tribal leaders played football:
Unfortunately, it is not true. American football was invented in 1820 and the feast happened way, way, way before then. The Pilgrims did play a game more American than football; they shot their guns for fun. #TrueStory
5. Turkey makes you sleepy:
Uuumm, no. The turkey doesn’t have enough tryptophan (that’s the amino acid that’s supposed to make you sleepy) to put you out for the night.
The sleepiness that you feel is from eating too much. But if you have something against turkey then know this: The turkey that you eat, which are usually commercial turkeys (unless you buy grass fed fowl) weigh around 30 pounds and live less than six months.
Wild turkeys that don’t grow in turkey farms weigh 12 pounds and live healthily for 44 months… I think I’ll stick with the salad.