Micah’s History of Everything: American Thanksgiving

Posted: November 25, 2013 by Micah in A History of Everything
Tags: , , ,

Well hey Internet!! Happy day after the day after Doctor Who came back!! And oh what a Doctor Who it was! Anyway, I’m sure some of you people came here for something besides me talking about Doctor Who (though… I’m sure not most of you) Some of you came here because it says something about Thanksgiving in the headline of this article and you thought I would be following that up with some sort of actual article about Thanksgiving.

Obviously you don’t come to this site a lot.

Seriously though, I am gonna talk about Thanksgiving today and try to keep my nerdy Doctor Who references to a minimum. But seriously: that thing was awesome!

Micah’s History of Everything: American Thanksgiving

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What? What do you mean this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. I’m thankful.

So after alienating an entire country on Thursday by making fun of Canada and the potential future NOT-Canadian city Quebec, I figured I would bring the pain all the way back around and talk about our very own Thanksgiving a few days before actual Thanksgiving because let’s be honest: I’m not posting that day.

The History:

American Thanksgiving all started long ago in a galaxy far far away when Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker landed in Jamestown. Seriously though, about a hundred pilgrims (ancient forefathers of John Wayne) piled into a boat roughly the size of a Ford Pinto and spent several months on a horrifying ship ride to America. But it wasn’t all bad, ancient pilgrims played many ancient ship style games including such classic as: Scurvy catching, Tie the yellow ribbon ‘round your parents so they don’t drown, and starving to death.

Fortunately things got much better for the Pilgrims when they landed in America and they became involved in such activities as: failing to farm, freezing their tiny pilgrim bonnets off, and (cause why fix what ain’t broken) starving to death. The next winter they met Tanto, an Indian who lived nearby and was to be portrayed many years later by Johnny Depp. Tanto was—hang on—oh Squanto. I see…

When the Pilgrims met Squanto he taught them many valuable lessons such as: how to plant corn with a dead fish so that it would grow better!! (no seriously… that was a thing. Though it does sound like a hilarious Indian prank doesn’t it? Can’t you just see Squanto going back to his indian tribe saying “Hey guys you’ll never guess what I got the Pilgrims to do today…” And then his Indian tribe telling him that he probably will never be portrayed by Johnny Depp??)  

Anyway the pilgrims were very grateful for their corn (even though some pilgrims reported a “fishy aftertaste”) and decided to get together with the Indians and celebrated a brand new holiday! A holiday that they decided to call “Not Starving To Death!!” and much happiness ensued.

Many years later we decided to change the name of the Holiday to Thanksgiving because it was much easier for the people at Hallmark to spell. Thanksgiving was of course officially made a Holiday in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln who was quoted as saying “I’m just thankful that this will be what I’m primarily remember for by History!”  Rather than set a solid date for the Holiday though Lincoln decided to have Thanksgiving be celebrated on the last Thursday of thanksgiving which is the plot for the upcoming movie “Lincoln 2: Thanksgiving Thursday” starring Daniel Day Lewis and a lot of other famous people who won’t actually do much in the movie.

In 1942 after a frankly sad amount of controversy Congress officially fixed Thanksgiving as the fourth holiday in November because (as Congress has believed for many many years) if something is already slightly confusing why not make it SUPER confusing just to mess with people! So thanks Congress! Happy fourth or last Thursday in November to you too…

Holiday traditions:

One of the things that happens every year on Thanksgiving for some reason is that a president will take some time off of ruling the free world or trying to build a functioning website and pardon a turkey that has a maximum total lifespan of two years. That turkey will then go off to a farm somewhere or something where it will die of natural causes in a matter of months and then probably be buried with a twenty one gun salute in the National Turkey Cemetery by Daniel Day Lewis’s house.  Don’t get me wrong I think having the President spare a turkey once a year is fine but is “pardon” the word we really want to uses here? I mean did the Turkey do something to merit being eaten? Is this some sort of criminal turkey smoking large cigars and ordering whack jobs on other less well off birds? If so, that is an awesome Turkey and we should definitely pardon it… this calls for more research!! (anxious key tapping)

I forgot I don’t research anything… what were we doing? Oh yeah… traditions.

Traditionally on Thanksgiving women labor intensively to cook large elaborate meals while their husbands talk about politics and the football games that aren’t on yet. Afterword’s families gather around a table and eat tons of food while (hopefully) remembering to be thankful for it. (consequently I recently learned how “homemade cream corn” is made and my life has been changed forever.) Regardless of that though after the meal the men traditionally watch roughly five minutes of football before dropping into a deep coma that they will emerge from just in time to panically Christmas shop.

Another fun thanksgiving tradition is to inflate giant balloons of beloved child-hood characters and float them down streets in New York in the hopes of really freaking out any sleeping children in the buildings around the parade site.

And that’s actually pretty much it! Thanks for reading guys, you folks are the best and I know I went off on Thanksgiving in the past couple paragraphs but let me just say that I am so thankful for all of you readers and all the incredible gifts and blessings the Lord has blessed me with! Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone, hold your families close, your Turkey’s closer, and be on the lookout for a giant floating Snoopy. That guy is messed up man. Messed. Up.

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Snoopy sees you. He always sees you.

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