(Original video created and directed by Colin Davis)
With Thanksgiving around the corner, cutouts of Pilgrims in black clothes and clunky shoes are sprouting all over the place. You may know that the Pilgrims sailed aboard the Mayflower and arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. But did you know their first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three whole days? What else do you know about these early settlers of America? Don’t be a turkey. Try this True-False quiz.
True or False? (Answers below)
Pilgrims always wore stiff black clothes and shoes with silver buckles.
The Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom.
Everyone on the Mayflower was a Pilgrim.
The Pilgrims were saved from starvation by a native American friend named Squanto.
The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America.
False. Pilgrims wore blue, green, purple and brownish clothing for everyday. Those who had good black clothes saved them for the Sabbath. No Pilgrims had buckles– artists made that up later!
True. The Pilgrims were a group of radical Puritans who had broken away from the Church of England. After 11 years of “exile” in Holland, they decided to come to America.
False. Only about half of the 102 people on the Mayflower were what William Bradford later called “Pilgrims.” The others, called “Strangers” just wanted to come to the New World.
True. Squanto, or Tisquantum, helped teach the Pilgrims to hunt, farm and fish. He learned English after being taken as a slave aboard an English ship.
False. The Indians had been having similar harvest feasts for years. So did the English settlers in Virginia and Spanish settlers in the southwest before the Pilgrims even got to America. And the Mayflower Pilgrims weren’t even America’s “first Pilgrims.” That honor goes to French Huguenots who settled in Florida more than 50 years before the Mayflower sailed.
Read about America’s real “first Pilgrims”–French Huguenots who landed in Florida more than fifty years before the Mayflower sailed– in this New York Times Op-Ed, “A French Connection“ and in my book America’s Hidden History
America's Hidden History, includes tales of "First Pilgrims" and "Forgotten Founders"
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Banned Books Week begins on October 1. Book bans are rising sharply. In 1953, the American Library Association said, “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack.” This post offers some historical context.
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