For as long as anyone can remember, the story of the first Thanksgiving has been revered in America as a peaceful celebratory meal between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in 1621, a year after the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower.
But like most historical events that hold unsavory truths, this feast is often portrayed inaccurately. And the mythical story of the first Thanksgiving obscures the painful truths of how the relationship between the English settlers and the Indigenous people actually began.
While there was a shared feast between the two groups, it’s not known for sure why they came together or if the Native Americans were even properly invited. And they probably didn’t eat turkey — despite the popular notion that it was on the table.
More significantly, the mythical story of the first Thanksgiving whitewashes the colonial violence against the Native Americans, which occurred countless times despite this famous gathering.
Let’s take a look inside the real history of Thanksgiving.