In elementary school, I was taught that Thanksgiving was a beautiful moment in our country’s history. Friendly white people sailed over on the Mayflower and befriended the Natives who taught them how to hunt and grow crops. The two groups celebrated their new friendship with a three-day feast that included turkeys, corn, and potatoes, and they all lived in harmony for years to come. It was a great story, filled with struggle and triumph. Unfortunately, that's just a myth.
Actually, the first Thanksgiving was likely a celebratory dinner following what's now known as the Pequot Massacre. After killing over 700 men, women, and children of the Pequot Tribe, the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony reportedly said, “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was later signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” So, understandably, there are some people who choose not to observe Thanksgiving, given that it perpetuates this myth. If you're not OK with erasing this ugly part of America's history and choose not to observe Thanksgiving, there are other ways to spend the day. Check out these alternatives.