See What Happened Was...
fun stories from history
Let’s start at the beginning. The original Thanksgiving was motivated by three different traditions—the Wampanoag people's practice of offering thanks to the Creator during harvest time, the Europeans’ annual celebration of the harvest, and the Puritan’s belief in religious holidays as a way of acknowledging and thanking God for his provision during difficult times.
Because this kind of celebration was so widely observed across these different people groups it’s not hard to imagine that similar celebrations might have been happening elsewhere—and they were. It is likely that Spanish and other English settlers had their own harvest feasts years before the Mayflower reached North America, but we didn’t know much about these until the 20th century, so it is unlikely that they are the direct ancestors of our beloved food fest.
So, after the first meal with Squanto and Co. how did the tradition become what it is today?
You know that thing of where your older brother takes your pizza rolls and you’re super mad at him but also too intimidated to confront him directly so instead you try to take your other brother’s Gameboy hoping that that will make your older brother respect you?
No? Just me? Well, if you can’t relate to that, the Irish-American’s of the 1860’s sure can. It’s time to learn about the Fenian Brotherhood.
The Star Spangled Banner—that great American poem that would become our anthem. We all know the story of Francis Scott Key and his vision of the flag that still waved amidst the smoke of rockets and bombs. We’ve all heard his description of the broad stripes and bright stars, but did you know that you can go and see the actual flag that inspired these lyrics?
The National Museum of American History in Washington DC has that very star spangled banner on display. How did it get there? Why do we not all know about this? Shouldn’t it be proudly waving at the Super Bowl?
Well, here’s what we know.