Verify: Were turkeys served at the first Thanksgiving?
KVUE's Jenni Lee already broke the belief about turkey making you sleepy, so KVUE's Jason Puckett decided to go one step further. He looked into a couple of the biggest Thanksgiving "myths" and found out what was true.
The sources used to verify these claims are the Library of Congress and information taken from books written by 17th century pilgrim Edward Winslow and William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth.
The first Thanksgiving was a somber, religious event
False. Most historians refer to the gathering between Plymouth, Mass., colonists and Wampanoag tribe natives as the "first Thanksgiving."
While the event was likely attended by both native's and colonists, like most stories claim, the records show it was a three-day event with feasting, games and competitions.
Turkey/pie have always been served
While there's some debate as to whether or not turkey was at all present in the 1621 gathering, most seem to agree on one thing: it was not the main course.
Gov. Bradford wrote, "besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.”
The records also indicate that colonists would have eaten a variety of grown vegetables and native nuts but seemed to have no indication of pie ever being served.
The main course for meat during the three day feast was likely the venison brought by the Wampanoag tribe.