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Thursday, November 25, 2010
While you prepare for your traditional Thanksgiving celebration, its good to remember a bit of American History.
Americans tend to believe 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 native locals learned English during the earlier, lost Roanoke settlement. One of their first questions was "Did you bring beer?" True story.
Those in the west 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 arrived 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, thriving 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.
Had the Spanish a bit more luck and better PR, we might all be enjoying tacos and dramas about Coronado instead of turkey, mini marshmallows and Pilgrims.
Enjoy your day, count your blessings and come back safely.