Thanksgiving, Explained (for all you folks not from the USA)
Seeing how it is officially Thanksgiving, I thought it might be prudent to explain to all of you who aren't Americans why the heck we decided to have a random commercial holiday in November (aside from the fact that there isn't another commercial holiday in November). I minored in US History, and am a descendant of William Bradford, so I am somewhat of an expert on this subject.
It all started in the year 1620, way back in the days when people still used VCRs and floppy disks. Some guy named Bill Bradford said to himself "Hey, let's discover America!" Some of the snobbier among you may be thinking "wait, hadn't America already been discovered and colonized by the 1620s?" Well, it had, but everyone forgot about America (except that Amerigo Vespucci chap) and so Billy B became the guy who discovered America yet again.
So Billy called all of his Puritan friends (easily recognized, as they wore belt buckles on their hats) and said "Yo, peeps [sic], let's bounce!" and they all hopped in their boats and sailed over. Bad stuff happened along the way, but I forget what it was. Maybe one of the boats hit a narwhal or a mermaid. Also, I think they wrote the first constitution. Doesn't really matter. So eventually, they all landed in Plymouth, minus the ones who were killed by a raiding party of vengeful narwhals. Naturally, they were all a little peckish, seeing as how they were on boats for, like, a month or something, and all they had to eat were those little pretzel packets that you get on Delta flights. So Billy shouted "Yo, guys, did anyone remember the Doritos?" Unfortunately, the Doritos had been lost during a storm, and so the Puritans were, to use the lingo of the time, SOL.
Luckily for the Puritans, they happened to find the only group of polite people in Massachusetts (maybe the only polite people north of Baltimore, even), the Native Americans. These natives were kind enough to share their food with the Puritans, allowing them to survive the winter. Apparently, Puritans hibernate like Grizzly Bears, so they only need to eat once before they hibernate for the rest of the winter. The Puritans offered them the traditional European show of gratitude towards non-Europeans: They introduced them to smallpox, and then conquered their land. We celebrate this act of mutual friendship on the last Thursday of November, because that makes so much sense.
We celebrate Thanksgiving by eating too much, watching football, and huddling around the tv to see the most blatant display of commercialism of all time, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
Riveting stuff..I couldn't put it down.
Having begun with the recommended "praise",I move on to the "suggest". You used the term "landed in Plymouth".I suggest that in actuality,they landed "on"Plymouth (Rock,that is.)
Finally,to wrap up in closing,I am compelled by my innate sense of rightness to move to "correct",and mention the pivotal part Grover Cleveland played in Thanksgiving Tradition, to whit,his innovative commutation of the death penalty for one (1) turkey per annum.
(Historians are divided on this..there is some evidence in as-yet un-redacted records of that time that in fact,Grover's turkey got away from him..flew the coop ,one might humorously say,and to save face he took what is known as "the politician's solution to losing face when you totally stuff-up",and issued a leak to the press to the effect that he ,in his mercy,had pardoned said fowl.)
Keep in mind that the Indians and Vikings had probably already lived in America by that time, and thus established the city limits of Plymouth, Massachusetts, so it would indeed have been possible for them to land in Plymouth, assuming that the Mayflower was airborne at some point-- my research suggests they used balloons in order to avoid further confrontations with the narwhals (think of the movie "UP")
@clousems. I've read quiet a bit of evidence to the Viking claim. I've not heard of Indians having been here before Columbus. Oh how it annoys me when people call native Americans Indians, and how this misconception ever managed to stick for so long baffles me. Perhaps it is a testament to American laziness.
American Indian is no longer used.They are First Nation or Native American. First Nation makes more sense when you consider they have not been there long .
@bunyip. No longer used formally. But in the states it is still used verbally by too many people.
So we can state with a degree of certainty that Mayflower et al landed ON Plymouth Rock IN the Plymouth City limits?
It's a generational change to tradition..always takes time no matter what it is.
They call that stuff Starbucks sells "coffee",and many the world over would see that as a greater problem.
@bunyip. I did not know that Starbucks fact. Here in the northeast the popular coffee franchises is "Tim Hortons" and people wait an hour in line for it every morning. I remember in my teens I wanted to try Starbucks all my life and when I finnaly had the opportunity, I had my cup of Starbucks, and it was in that moment I realized, there's not much of a distinguishable difference between coffee other than the brand name.