Let’s Eat!

Thanksgiving might be weird this year, but a worldwide pandemic can’t stop many Americans from partaking in some kind of holiday feast. Here we offer a few hot takes on Thanksgiving’s traditional dishes.
Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
Spoiler alert: there is no indication that turkey was served at the event commonly referred to as the “first thanksgiving.”
Are sweet potatoes and yams the same thing?
The confusion began with slavery.
Are cranberries really harvested from a bog?
Watch our video to find out!
Ready for pie?
Take our Baking and Baked Goods Quiz to test your knowledge of the sweet stuff.

The True Story of Thanksgiving

The harvest feast first celebrated in 1621 sealed an alliance between the struggling English colonists at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, the dominant Native American tribe in what is now eastern Massachusetts. Barely half of the original 102 Mayflower settlers had survived the colony’s first year, and the assistance provided by Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag, likely spelled the difference between the success or failure of the English settlement. Within 15 years, the English had amassed such numbers in Massachusetts that they could wage a war of annihilation on the Pequot, a rival Algonquian-speaking tribe. By 1675 the English had turned on their former Wampanoag allies in what was likely the bloodiest conflict (per capita) in U.S. history.
The Origins of the Holiday
article / Lifestyles & Social Issues
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZC4-4961)
Pequot War
article / World History
© North Wind Picture Archives
King Philip's War
article / World History
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital file no. cph 3c00678)

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