By: Alex Pearson

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Thanksgiving: A Historical FAQ

Why is it named Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving was quite literally a day to give Thanks. Mary Thanks was a young Pilgrim woman given to the Wampanoag Indian tribe by starving Pilgrims in exchange for food.

What is a Pilgrim?
Pilgrim is the proper term for a Buckle-Hat or Bonnet-Head.

Why did Pilgrims wear buckles?
They wore them as badges to show how many men they had killed.

Why did they kill men?
Often for no other reason than to show off the power and accuracy of their phonograph-rifles.

Did the Pilgrims practice democracy?
No. The man with most buckles was king.

Did the Thanksgiving Indians actually wear feathers in their hair?
The Indians did not wear feathers, but they would allow wild birds to roost on their heads, usually during musical numbers as a sign of their unity with nature, often leaving feathers behind.

Who was Squanto?
Friend of the Pilgrim and iconic Native American socialite.

What were the names of other important Indians involved in the first Thanksgiving?
Due to the name's popularity or their strong belief in conservation or both, many, if not most, Thanksgiving Indians had the name Squanto. However, Thanksgiving historians agree there was only one the Squanto and he was the only non-background Indian.

How much do we really know about Squanto?
He had a last name, but he took it to his grave. Other than that, mostly just rumors.

What happened to Squanto?
Though he tried, he never topped the Thanksgiving meal. He would later call Thanksgiving “bigger than the Last Supper,” and he never really recovered from the media fallout.

What was the Mayflower?
A wooden boat with huge sails that brought the Pilgrims across the Atlantic.

Why the name “Mayflower”?
Your boat name is the month you were born plus your first pet’s name.

Was the Mayflower a mischievous boat that could talk?
According to some.

Which is correct: Cornucopia or Horn of Plenty?
Well, are you the kind of person that calls your guy a chauffeur or a driver? And frankly, if you call a cornucopia a horn of plenty, you probably don’t even have a chauffeur, and it wouldn’t be that surprising if you just displayed your arrangement of miniature pumpkins and maize in an old Keds shoebox.

Why does the president always pardon one turkey?
To prove that he has the power to pardon all the turkeys but has chosen not to.

Is it true turkey was not actually served at the first Thanksgiving?
Yes. Turkey was not invented until 1839 for the World’s Fair.

If they didn’t eat turkey at the first Thanksgiving, what did they eat?
The green bean casserole.

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