FRIDAY FACTS: 5 Facts About the First Thanksgiving

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Because we should all end our weeks a little smarter than we were before, every Friday we pick a topic and tell you five facts you may not have known! Use these to impress your friends over the weekend.

There are a lot of things to love or hate about autumn, and one of those is Thanksgiving! Sure, you had to learn about how our forefathers celebrated not starving or freezing to death, but there’s more to the story that what you learned in grade school. So grab a drumstick and read on — here are five facts you may not have known about the first Thanksgiving!

The First Thanksgiving Was a Three Day Rager

saturday night live turkey

You might have a problem being around your family for one full day, but the O.G. pilgrims had to spend three days with theirs. The first Thanksgiving raged on for three full days of eating, drinking, celebrating a successful harvest, and trying to avoid awkward conversations about politics with your weird uncle. And they didn’t even have Black Friday sales to round out their weekend!

The Wampanoag Were Party Crashers

addams family thanksgiving

We remember Thanksgiving as the day where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans came together, even though the Native Americans showed up to the party uninvited. According to some historians, the Wampanoag heard the Pilgrims firing guns in celebration and thought that the settlers were planning to attack. The Wampanoag came to investigate, then just kind of stayed for a fun party instead. Apparently nobody cared that the Wampanoag didn’t stop at Trader Joe’s for a bottle of wine beforehand.

There Were No Forks

the little mermaid fork

Forks are a modern-day Thanksgiving staple, yet none were present at the first Thanksgiving. Our ancestors ate their feast with spoons and knives and hands. Forks were introduced to the pilgrims about 10 years after the first Thanksgiving but didn’t catch on until the 1700s. So if you choose to dig into your mashed potatoes and candied yams with your hands this year, you’re not being crass. You’re being authentic.

It Was Basically a Sausage Fest

friends turkey thanksgiving

It is believed that there were only like five women in attendance at the first Thanksgiving. And it’s not because they weren’t invited. A woman can do pretty much anything a man can except, apparently, survive that harsh first year in America. Most of the women died out, which made the first Thanksgiving look more like a three-day frat party.

Pilgrim is Our Word, Not Theirs

turkey money stuffing

The pilgrims didn’t call themselves pilgrims. That word was coined 200 years later, around the time we started celebrating Thanksgiving as a holiday. The pilgrims of Plymouth were just known as “settlers” until we started to jazz it up by giving them the new moniker. Ah, the first steps into the commercialization of Thanksgiving!

Have any cool Thanksgiving trivia you want to share with us? Let us know on Twitter!

Heidi Lux
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