Contact Us

5 Thanksgiving Myths Debunked — Pilgrims Didn’t Wear Buckles? (And More)

Thanksgiving icons
iStock

Thanksgiving, which we’ve been celebrating in America for centuries now, is a time of family, food and, especially, tradition. Even so, many of the stories we take as gospel about this wonderful holiday—wonderful if you’re not endlessly bickering with your relatives, that is—aren’t true at all. Myth, legend and wishful thinking play into a lot of the misconceptions surrounding Turkey Day.

Like most things, Thanksgiving has evolved over the years and borrowed from a variety of sources in order to create the current celebration we know and love. Here are five stories about Thanksgiving that may have you thinking differently about America’s national meal:

Turkey Wasn’t the Original Main Course

Turkey might not have even been served at the first Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving celebration. Deer, lobster and a ton a shrimp were on the tables, but not necessarily turkey. While the Wampanoag people and the early settlers hunted fowl, they could have just as easily bagged ducks and geese instead of the “gobble gobble” bird for the three-day feast. Corn, crab, fish and lots of veggies, which were in season, along with venison probably made up the majority of the food enjoyed by the Native Americans and the battered newcomers on those festive autumn days so long ago.

Cranberry Sauce and Sweet Potatoes Were Off the Menu

When those legendary Mayflower voyagers arrived in the New World, they didn’t bring stores of (expensive) sugar with them, which meant cranberry sauce was a later addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Fresh cranberries, however, were likely consumed in abundance. Sweet potatoes weren’t available either, so that culinary delight had to be added at some later date as well. Pumpkins were on the menu, but not in pie form. Carrots, peas and different kinds of squashes featured heavily, but not so for sweet-potato dishes and cranberry sauce.

Pilgrims Dressed in a Variety of Colors Without Buckles Everywhere

Buckles on the hat, buckles on the shoes, and big buckles on the belt are standard Thanksgiving Day apparel motifs. As much as we love those buckles, it seems the Pilgrims didn’t deck themselves out with buckles at all, since buckles weren’t in style at the time. Moreover, black and white weren’t the only colors available to the pioneering fashion set. Women typically wore blue, brown, gray, green, red and violet. The men also had several options other than black and white, which was reserved for formal attire, when it came to the wardrobe department.

Thanksgiving Day Was Celebrated Before Plymouth—And Not Just by the Pilgrims

Thanksgiving Day, as celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth, was a combination of various European harvest festivals and, more importantly, ancient harvest festivals celebrated by the Native Americans. American Indians living in the Northeast had long been farmers, and autumn, of course, is the time of year when farmers reap the bounty of the harvest.

The dancing, food and games that Pilgrims shared with the Wampanoag Indians on “Thanksgiving” weren’t in line with the somber and religious days of “thanks” in the traditional Pilgrim sense of the term. The harvest festivities were more akin to the celebrations of the Wampanoag, a people living in North America long before the Dutch, English, or Spanish ever set foot on American soil.

Pilgrims ≠ Puritans

Pilgrims and Puritans are not the same. While the Mayflower was full of people who wanted to escape religious persecution back home and practice a different kind of religion, those Pilgrims were much more tolerant and far less strict than the Puritans. The Puritans came to the New World well after the Mayflower had already dropped anchor. The Pilgrims wanted to break away from the Church of England entirely, while the Puritans wanted to reform, or purify, it. Puritans were also the folks behind much of the witch burning that went on in the 17th century, something the Pilgrims would never do.

police-lights
[

Man With A Gun Causes Scare At East Texas Walmart

A customer saw a man with a gun last Friday night at the Walmart in Sulphur Springs, and it turns out he had been driving a stolen pickup.  It turned out okay, but could have been much worse.

Read More|Comment

Category: East Texas News, News Tags: ,
Zack Ryder WWE
WWE
[

WrestleMania Is Coming To Texas

WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year for the WWE, and AT&T Stadium in Arlington gets the chance to host it in 2016.

Read More|Comment

Tim Boyle, Getty Images
Tim Boyle, Getty Images
[

What Does a Lifetime’s Worth of Pennies Get You? Not Much.

There's a man who lives over by Lubbock who has been saving pennies since 1952 and finally cashed them in.  You'll never guess how much cash he got for this lifetime of pennies.

Read More|Comment

Category: East Texas News, News Tags: , ,
bradley-cooper-lance-armstrong
[

Bradley Cooper Stops in Texas to Promote New Film

On Thursday actor Bradley Cooper found out he was nominated for Hollywood's biggest honor, an Oscar.  And the night before that he was in Texas, hanging out at an average, ordinary theater, to promote the film he's nominated for.

Read More|Comment

Traffic-heavy-200x300
[

Some Customized License Plates May Be Discontinued

It's a matter of demand.

If there are only a dozen or so people ordering certain customized license plates in Texas, it doesn't justify the cost to keep them going. Which ones are in jeopardy?

Read More|Comment

Category: East Texas News, News Tags:
Grilling Sausage
[

Texas BBQ Master Gets To Cook on Inauguration Day

When there's a big party in Texas, chances are there's barbecue involved.  And one well-known Texas smokehouse is handling all the food for the Governor's inauguration soon.

Read More|Comment

Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
[

Lots Of People Moved to Texas Last Year

There was a huge number of people who left states like New York and New Jersey last year, and Texas received a bunch of them.

When it comes to states people moved to in 2014, Texas is in the Top 10.

Read More|Comment

Beer2
[

You Don’t Have To Be Wasted To Get A DWI

If you're drinkin' on New Year's Eve, you're not drivin' right?

Heads up that there will be extra patrols on the roads watching tonight.  And it's not just drunk driving that will get you in trouble.  Buzzed driving can have you seeing flashing lights too.

Read More|Comment

Spencer Platt/Getty Image
Spencer Platt/Getty Image
[

New Device for Christmas? Check Out These Free Apps.

If you got a new smart phone for Christmas, you might be looking for the best apps to load it up.

Free ones, right?  Free is always good.  Here are some ideas.

Read More|Comment

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
[

These College Bowl Games Are Must-See

It's the most wonderful time of the year...if you love football.

Are you watching the college bowl games?  These are the ones that USA Today says we can't miss.

Read More|Comment

Category: East Texas News Tags: ,

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ksfa860.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!