Tag Archives | Thanksgiving

The Native Americans Thought That The Pilgrims Were Filthy, Irritating and Incompetent

Thanksgiving_SquantoThe Native American delegation who met with the pilgrims found them barely tolerable, but were more than happy to trade the beat-up old furs they used as blankets for useful trade goods.

Via Smithsonian Magazine:

On March 22, 1621, a Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to meet with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had brought along only reluctantly as an interpreter.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity.

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Thanksgiving Holiday Was Invented by the Author of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ – Not the Pilgrims

61964-004-D4CDCF03Thanksgiving wasn’t even about the Pilgrims  – or even a holiday – until the 19th century.

Via the Washington Post:

In 1789, George Washington declared Thursday, Nov. 26, a Thanksgiving holiday, but only for that year, and it wasn’t connected to the Pilgrim feast but rather intended as a “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

Enter a 19th-century author, poet and magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale. She was editor of the influential Godey’s Lady’s Book for 40 years, from 1837 to 1877, when she was nearly 90 years old. She and her husband David Hale had five children, and when he died in 1822, she wore black for the rest of her life. Hale was an education advocate and, through the magazine she edited, became a famous figure in the country who set fashion, reading and cooking trends.

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Obama’s Only Presidential Pardon This Year Was The Thanksgiving Turkey

ThinkProgress points out that Cobbler the turkey was the only recipient of a presidential mercy in 2012:

Although the Constitution confers on the president the power to “grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,” a recent ProPublica report found that Obama had exercised that power more rarely than any president in modern history. As law professor Mark Osler explains, the framers intended a much more robust presidential use of the pardon power:

The founding fathers did not intend for the pardon power to fall into such disuse. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 74, argued that “the criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel.”

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Police Arrest Black Friday Protesters On Behalf Of Walmart

On Black Friday, peaceful protest is a jailable offense, while violent mobs are acceptable so long as they are spending money. Rania Khalek writes:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Friday, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. Local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, live-blogging about the Walmart strikes at The Nation, reports that “Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores.

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Confidential Police Documents Mistakenly Used For NYC Thanksgiving Parade Confetti

Somehow quite fittingly, highly-legible details on the War on Terror and police officers’ social security numbers served as the confetti poured onto revelers attending the nation’s largest parade, Gawker reports:

The magical specks of color that float down the city streets are normally just a mishmash of multicolored confetti, but this year, shredded confidential documents from the Nassau Police Department were also in the air.

The worst part is that the documents were shredded horizontally, so they were still highly readable. Some strips that stuck to parade attendees contained Social Security Numbers of officers and others detailed crimes like a pipe bombing in the Kings Grant area of Long Island.

Hypothetically, these pieces of paper could have very easily been collected and been put back together again using some simple “unshredding software.” It’s a very scary Thanksgiving weekend for some Nassau County cops who might get their identities stolen in the first few days of this holiday season.

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The Five Worst Thanksgivings in History

You may know John Marr for his classic essay “Death at Disneyland“. Here’s an even more brain-frying article he wrote about the worst Thanksgivings ever in American history. I read this every year as a gratefulness-inducing holiday tradition. Be thankful you weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving in Reno in 1980:

Thanksgiving Day Massacre, Reno, 1980

Priscilla Ford had a long history of psychiatric problems and bizarre behavior, marked by such quixotic acts as suing the Mormon Church and attempting to speak at the 1972 Republican Convention. The capper came on the Thanksgiving afternoon when she got even with the City of Reno. In front of the downtown casinos, she steered her black 1974 Lincoln onto a crowded sidewalk and mowed down the crowds of holiday gamblers and gambolers. She left six dead and 23 injured in her wake. Pulled over a few blocks later, she told police, “Sometimes I am called Jesus Christ.” She later expressed a fervent hope that she’d nailed 75 people, and explained the voice of Joan (Mrs.

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The Five Worst Thanksgivings in History

PilgrimIf you’re dreading your family Thanksgiving, it could be worse! John Marr identifies the five worst Thanksgivings in history, which included the day the Ku Klux Klan was founded, and Reno’s “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” in 1980. (“Priscilla Ford had a long history of psychiatric problems and bizarre behavior…”)

Also included? The day 22 people were killed in 1900 at the Big Game between football rivals Stanford and Berkeley, and a story which concludes “The gunmen immediately started blasting away with shotguns and assault rifles…”

Usually on Thanksgiving, “Good old all-American chaos is down,” writes Marr sardonically. “But not entirely out.”… Read the rest

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