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The Thanksgiving Dilemma: Reevaluating Our Annual Celebration

Peter Mancall / University of Southern California

The myth of Thanksgiving is powerful and ubiquitous.  In the autumn of 1621, so American legend has it, English Pilgrims seeking religious freedom shared a feast with Wampanoags, the residents of the territory the Pilgrims labeled Plymouth.  The good feelings of that meal soon faded when Native peoples and English colonists, including the Pilgrims, began to compete for resources, initiating conflicts that raged for generations.  Yet despite the often-violent relations between the nation and Indigenous communities, the myth of coexistence remained.

Peter Mancall

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