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Monday, November 16, 2009
History is written by the winners
While you are preparing for your traditional Thanksgiving school pageant its good to remember a little American History.
Americans tend to believe that the first European settlers to hit what is now the continental US were those dastardly, witch baiting Pilgrims who arrived near Plymouth Rock, Mass. Not true. Tidewater Virginians duel over less slanderous allegations.
Englishmen hit Jamestown settlement, in what is now Virginia in May, 1607, a good 13 years before Pilgrims came to our shores. In one of the great coincidences in history, the Jamestown settlers were met by English speaking natives. The natives learned English during the time of the earlier lost Roanoke settlement. One of the natives first questions was "Did you bring beer?" True story.
Those in the west often take a longer view of history than those in the east. Plymouth Rock and all their shenanigans is a long way from the Pacific. Westerners have a completely different dynamic than Virginians or Mass Bay colonists.
Those west of Denver know the Spanish were there first. Spanish explorers came to America 40 years ahead of the English. So successful were their explorations that Sante Fe,New Mexico had a large and growing population when in 1607, several months prior to the Jamestown landing, it was named capital of the Spanish New Mexico territory,
Easterners have a truly tough time wrapping that idea around their brains.
With a little more work on behalf of the Spanish, we might be enjoying tacos and dramas about Coronado instead of turkey and Pilgrims.