Saturday, December 7, 2019

Before it slips my mind completely

...I wanted to share with you that Kathy, a fairly new reader hereabouts, corrected me after I said that America's first Thanksgiving occurred at Plymouth, Massachussetts, in 1621.

It didn't.

I mean, it occurred, but it wasn't America's first one.

According to this fascinating article in The Washingtonian, that honor goes to Berkeley Plantation, a settlement on the James River in Virginia, in the Year Of Our Lord 1619.

So we shouldn't be remembering the Mayflower, we should be remembering the Margaret. We shouldn't be thinking of William Bradford, we should be thinking of John Woodlief. And we shouldn’t have eaten turkey, we should have eaten oysters and ham.

Unfortunately (or, as regarding our need to eat oysters, fortunately), Berkeley Plantation was destroyed by the Powhatan Indians in 1622.

Not very neighborly, not very neighborly at all.

Mr. Rogers would have been so disappointed.

This post is part of my effort to make it through December 7th without mentioning Pearl Bailey.


  1. Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey, Pearl Bailey. Does that help?

  2. Emma, not at all, only makes things worse. I have told the joke only twice so far this year, besides telling it here on the blog, I mean. I'm making real progress. The leader of the recovery group will be so pleased.

  3. I didn't get the Pearl Bailey joke by the way.

    I suspect that our/your forebears were not very neighbourly to the Powhatan Indians prior to 1622 either.

    1. Graham, December 7, 1941, was (as President Roosevelt called it) "a day that will live in infamy" -- the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and brought the U.S. into World War II. Perhaps you have heard of it. Since Pearl Bailey was black, the joke is the substitution of "Harbor" with "Bailey" in a December 7th joke about someone who was half black and half Japanese. I thought it was fairly obvious. Apparently not.

      I'm sure you have a point about the 1622 crowd. I didn't have forebears on either side of the conflict.

  4. Catching up on your blog after a short trip to the Smokies, and I was surprised to see my name mentioned. :D
    We are history nerds husband took me to williamsburg and Jamestown on our honeymoon, so I had to mention Virginia's first Thanksgiving.

    1. Kathy, you never know what you might find in my blog. I am a history nerd too. I am always screaming at the television during Jeopardy! when none of the contestants knows what should be a fairly obvious answer. I've heard that American History and World History are\ not being taught well in the public schools nowadays.


He ain't heavy, Father, he's my chicken

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