Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving - Giving Thanks

Herbert Storch "became curious and started to browse through the Internet and see what I would find about the history of Thanksgiving. Well, there is an overwhelming amount of information, but to my surprise, the "History of Thanksgiving" started and ended on the borders of the United States. You will find detail description about the Pilgrims, who celebrated their first bountiful harvest by having a "Feast" in the year of 1621. The authors accidentally forgot to mention that this "Feast" was not officially repeated until 1676, when Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of thanks." He goes on to detail several instances where Thanksgiving feasts were held in honor of massacre's of "Heathen Savages".

There is a long tradition in all cultures of harvest time feasting, giving thanks for the bounty the land honors us with. No doubt the current feast really stems from that tradition. However the specific instance in the U.S.A. carries a context of European "settlers" having to wrest this land from the native peoples living here. To 'wrest' land from people already living here inevitably led to fighting. Such as: The Dutch and the Puritans (with Bible passages in their hands to justify their every move), joined forces to exterminate all "Natives Savages" from New England. Woman and children over 14 were captured to be sold as slaves; other survivors were massacred. The Natives were sold into slavery in the West Indies, the Azures, Spain, Algiers and England, where ever the Puritan traded. The slave trade was so lucrative that boatloads of 500 at a time left the harbors of New England. So, the 2nd "Thanksgiving" was to celebrate the victory (massacre) over the "Heathen Savages". During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets of Manhattan like soccer balls as part of the celebration.

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