Sometimes stories get told wrong, again and again.  Like the one about Thanksgiving.  How many pilgrims can you name?

You know the name of the ship they sailed/chartered, but who was the captain?  Were they headed for Massachusetts?  Can you name one of the “Indians”  or their tribe?  When did it become an official US holiday?

I’ll pick one detail.  Most people know Squanto.  Do you know he spoke English?  Ever wonder how he learned it?  He probably spoke some Spanish too.  Do you know why?

Read at least a few paragraphs here, enough to learn about Capt. John Hunt, Tisquantum’s time in the Mediterranean, his time in Newfoundland, and the fact that his time of slavery (ironically) actually lengthened his life a bit.

I’m not meaning to be preachy.  But it seems that one reason to tell the real story is just that it’s

more interesting.

Just the facts, then?  You can read the links to Thanksgiving yourself here:  passenger list for that voyage of Mayflower, Captain was possibly Christopher Jones, their destination was “North Virginia” aka Hudson River Valley, they first encountered Nausets, later an important  liaison became a Wampanoag named Tisquantum, “thanksgiving” is a fairly universal sentiment that (as a single example) gets mentioned in the Old Testament coming from Jonah (Yonah or Junus), Lincoln (prompted by Sarah J. Hale) set the first US national Thanksgiving Day as November 26, and FDR made it float to the fourth Thursday each November.  And for UAINE, Thursday is the national day of mourning .  .  .

Hey . . . everyday should be Thanksgiving in my estimation, but please tell someone about Tisquantum the (reluctant) sailor today. But avoid calling heron a cormorant.

Related:  on the left side of this blog, an icon for My Babylonian Captivity appears, my account of a time exactly 20 years ago in Iraq as a hostage.  Read this segment for the details of the Iraqis efforts to mount a Thanksgiving meal for us.