Essay about What Really Happened During the First Thanksgiving

Decent Essays

There can be countless records of the same event, and while many times each record is different, there are also incidents in which one needs to know every record to piece together what really happened. The story of the first Thanksgiving takes place in 1621, and is generally known as a meal that was shared between the Pilgrims and the Indians. For the Pilgrims, this was a harvest festival, much like one they would have had in England. For the Indians, it was a show of hospitality from the Pilgrims, similar to what they would expect from visiting another Indian tribe. With being told only that, one can already see that there are already two very different histories of the same event recorded. Of greater interest, perhaps, are the different …show more content…

The History Channel’s Desperate Crossing tells the story of the Pilgrims, their journey to Plymouth, their horrible first year, and finally, the first Thanksgiving. Desperate Crossing follows the accounts of both Winslow and Bradford fairly well, but begins to deviate slightly. They show that the Pilgrims and Indians played games, drank, and raced, and competed together, some of which are only vaguely and briefly alluded to by Winslow, and never by Bradford. The History Channel also shows a much more tense situation than the impression given from Bradford and Winslow. According to the History Channel, everything from Massasoit showing up with his ninety-some men and the Pilgrims firing their arms is all a display of strength from both sides.

The History Channel obviously takes some liberties in their presentation of history. Winslow and Bradford do not mention anything about the clothing worn, if there was any drinking involved, if there was silverware, where the feasts were held, and many other seemingly trivial details. Desperate Crossing makes some assumptions on what took place in 1621, but it does quote both Winslow and Bradford word for word. While we’re shown a picture that may or may not actually represent what took place at the first Thanksgiving, at the very least, we’re given Winslow’s and Bradford’s descriptions of it. The History Channel used what was already known from the eye-witness accounts combined with what

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