Rediscovering America: A Quiz On Thanksgiving

Authored by Roger Beckett via,

Today, Americans will celebrate their oldest tradition: the observance of Thanksgiving, which dates back to 1621. The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an opportunity to test your knowledge of the history and customs of the nearly 400-year-old holiday.

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1. The first credited Thanksgiving was celebrated at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. How long was the first Thanksgiving feast?

A. One day
B. Three days
C. Five days
D. One week

2. What was the name of the Native American leader of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who forged an alliance with the English settlers and attended the First Thanksgiving feast with 90 of his men?

A. Massasoit
B. Powhatan
C. Sacagawea
D. Geronimo

3. The Pilgrims arrived at what would become Plymouth Plantation aboard the Mayflower. The ship on which they originally set sail was taking on water so the passengers and crew transferred to the Mayflower. What was the name of the ship on which the Pilgrims originally sailed?

A. Mary Celeste
B. RMS Carpathia
C. Mary Rose
D. Speedwell

4. George Washington was asked by the U.S. Congress to establish a day of Thanksgiving. What was the year of America’s first Thanksgiving, as designated by the federal government?

A. 1788
B. 1789
C. 1790
D. 1791

5. While Washington declared the first Day of Thanksgiving to be observed by the government, which president made it a national holiday?

A. Theodore Roosevelt
B. James Madison
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. Ulysses S. Grant

6. What is the name of the author and editor who led the national campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday?

A. Sarah Josepha Hale
B. Walt Whitman
C. Jacob Riis
D. Nellie Bly

7. Which common Thanksgiving food likely was not served at the first Thanksgiving?

A. Turkey
B. Ham
C. Pumpkin
D. Corn

8. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Thanksgiving would be moved up an entire week, at the request of Fred Lazarus Jr., whose family owned F&R Lazarus in Columbus, Ohio, and the national Federated Department Stores chain. This was done to make the Christmas shopping season longer and more profitable for businesses. What company did Federated eventually own?

A. Lord & Taylor
B. Sears, Roebuck and Company
C. F.W. Woolworth Company
D. Macy’s

9. Which of America’s Founding Fathers wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird, rather than the eagle?

A. George Washington
B. Samuel Adams
C. Benjamin Franklin
D. James Madison

10. Which president first pardoned a turkey at the urging of his son who had taken a liking to the bird and given it the name “Tom”?

A. Theodore Roosevelt
B. Abraham Lincoln
C. Ulysses S. Grant
D. Grover Cleveland

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Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-B, 5-C, 6-A, 7-B, 8-D, 9-C, 10-B


Future Jim Arnold Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:56 Permalink

The real story of Thanksgiving ...Communism vs. Free Markets at Plymouth Rock I learned from an article entitled  Our Forefather’s Failure (at that the colonies at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown tried both free market and communist systems—long before Karl Marx was born. The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in December 1620, and in spite of help from the Native Americans, half of them died the first year as a result of their initial system. During the second year, more of them died. They would quickly learn that their initial system was tragically incompatible with human nature. It was simply unnatural. The colonists had the ideal conditions for their initial system because they all had a reputation as virtuous hard working people, they all were of the same race, religion, politics, and nationality; and of course, they all had agreed to this system voluntarily. They also knew that failure meant death. Nevertheless, under their initial system, they simply weren’t producing and storing enough food, which lead to starvation, disease, and discontent. Their first solution, in their second year, was to institute beatings for those who did not work hard enough, but this had little effect on productivity, and it further increased discontent. The colonists astutely observed that their system tended to retard productivity while breeding confusion and discontent. We know this because they wrote about it in their journals. Clearly, their initial system was incompatible with human nature. By the spring of 1623 the Pilgrims feared they would not survive another winter, so in desperation, they adopted a radically different system, and it saved their lives. Productivity increased, and in 1623, they had the first real Thanksgiving. Which system failed the colonists initially, and which radically different system saved them? Which system was so incompatible with human nature, and which system was so compatible with human nature? Which system was so ugly, and which system was so beautiful? According to their original governing document, the Mayflower Compact, they shared everything produced by any one of them—from each according to his ability—to each according to his need. The result was that only a small percentage of them worked hard, and the rest were freeloaders to varying degrees because they would rather risk death than be exploited by others. They were so reluctant to work that they even left food rotting on the vine! The result was indeed death. Half of them died! This reminds me of the saying by the people of the USSR, “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” Then, in the spring of 1623, the surviving colonists decided to let each person keep the fruits of his labor, and the colony’s total output increased so much that they were never hungry again. The governor wrote in his journal that under their initial (communist) system that some of them claimed to be too sick to work, and they were so convincing that it would have been the height of tyranny to force them work. Then, after they learned they could keep the fruits of their labor, those who were too sick to walk suddenly recovered and began working the fields! Communism was killing the colonists at Plymouth Rock, and by switching to a free market system, they became more productive and saved themselves—in a single growing season. The transition from communism to free markets still lacked full property rights however. Whereas each individual owned the fruits of his labor, he did not own the land he worked, and thus he did not own any improvements he made to that land. In 1623, the colonists were still growing food on parcels of land that were reassigned by random lots each year, which they astutely observed was a disincentive for each farmer to make permanent improvements to his parcel of land because in the following year, someone else would inherit the fruits of any labor he devoted to improvements. Therefore, in 1624, they adopted full property rights where everyone owned the land he worked, and the result was another productivity boost. Whereas, the first step toward property rights and the free market increased productivity enough to feed everyone, the move to full property rights produced enough extra food to export and trade for furs and other goods. The article goes on to explain the similar experience in Jamestown:

Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in America, established in Virginia in 1607, had an experience similar to the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Early years of starvation were followed by converting to a system of property rights and a free market, which brought abundance. Under collectivism, less than half of every shipload of settlers survived the first 12 months at Jamestown. Most of the work was done by only one-fifth of the men, to whom the socialist system gave the same rations as to the others. During the winter of 1609–10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from 500 to 60. But when Jamestown converted to a free market, there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure,” wrote the colony secretary Ralph Hamor in 1614. Under the previous system, he said, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

The article didn’t mention the Roanoke colony, which just disappeared, and many speculate that they were killed by the Native Americans, but I think we can all deduce what really happened to them … They were killed by communism. Although both my first hand experience and observations as well as my research and analysis have long since led me to conclude that the free market and property rights are superior to communism, I would have believed that communism could have worked in the case of the first American colonies because they had every advantage one could give communism. They had already unanimously agreed to communism. They all shared the same race, nationality, religion, political views and economic views. Failure meant starvation, and slackers were beaten, but in spite of every advantage possible, communism was a catastrophic and systemic failure in the first American colonies. Consider that the colonists at Plymouth Rock had no historical precedent on which to evaluate communism vs. the free market, and yet when communism failed them, they invented and adopted a complete free market system with full property rights in just two years. In just four years, the colonists proved that that communism was a very unnatural and ugly thing, and that free-markets and property rights were a very natural and beautiful thing. Our ancestors’ understanding of the superiority of the free market and property rights made us the dominant nation on earth; whereas, today we are rapidly losing that status. Could it be that  Americans have forgotten the hard won knowledge of our ancestors? Consider that the Barack Obama had 400 years of additional historical precedent as well as a Harvard education, and yet he still doesn’t understand how the free market is superior to communism. He says that that when the government forcibly takes the fruits of your labor and gives it to others to “spread the wealth around”, then that’s “good for everybody”. Those colonists at Plymouth Rock, who seem so much more in touch with reality than the President of the United States, remind me of small town Americans of my childhood. Of course, the President sees small town Americans as basically racists who have “antipathy toward those who are different” and who “cling to their guns and religion”. Although, the Barack Obama is a dilettante, whose image was manufactured by the media, progressives have told me that he is right because communism in early America was too soon. They claim that it is not human nature to be a freeloader and that the people themselves have learned and would no longer be freeloaders. In case anyone cannot see that the progressive argument is BS, then consider that the Danish recently proved that 90% still prefer to be freeloaders when they can—even when they can make more money working.

In reply to by Arnold

Ex-Oligarch Giant Meteor Thu, 11/23/2017 - 15:34 Permalink

The first Thanksgiving took place in 1791, when the survivors of the Mary Celeste reached Virginia, under the leadership of Lord & Taylor.  Geronimo and his wife Sacagawea (Liz Warren's great-great-great-great-great grandparents) hosted the feast to welcome the new arrivals.  What with the leftovers they spent a week eating ham sandwiches, holding hands and singing international folk songs.  After this inspiring beginning, all of the founding fathers agreed that Thanksgiving should be a national holiday, but not what should be on the menu.  The Federalists' spokesman, Abraham Lincoln, argued for hamburgers so strenuously that his beard (Mary Todd) nearly fell off, but it was Theodore Roosevelt who prevailed on behalf of turkey. Still, it wasn't until after the civil war that President Benjamin Franklin named Wild Turkey (a product of his native Tennessee) as the national Thanksgiving drink.    How did I do?

In reply to by Giant Meteor

Giant Meteor Ex-Oligarch Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:12 Permalink

I liked it. Good ceative writing is never out of fashion .."In two momentous early encounters, Native Americans greeted Europeans with kindness. Here is how Christopher Columbus described the Arawak, tribal people living in the Bahamas when he landed there in 1492: “They…brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance…. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”"How that passage—which I found in historian Howard Zinn's 1980 classic A People’s History of the United States—captures the whole sordid history of colonialism! Columbus was as good as his word. Within decades the Spaniards had slaughtered almost all the Arawaks and other natives of the New Indies and enslaved the few survivors. “The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide,” wrote the historian Samuel Morison (who admired Columbus)."…

In reply to by Ex-Oligarch

Whatta Skateboarder Thu, 11/23/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

11) How many people dissed Trump / praised Hillary at the first thanksgiving? A) some, B) most, C) CNN reports ALL dissed Trump12) How many times was racism mentioned at first Thanksgiving? A) none, not an issue, B) a few times by uppity natives, C) CNN reports on major racial divisions at first Thanksgiving13) Did the Cowboys win the game played on the first Thanksgiving? A) Yes, B) No, C) CNN reports that racist Jerry Jones made hateful remarks to the Native Americans. 

In reply to by Skateboarder

ThrowAwayYourTV Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:28 Permalink

For all we know Thanksgiving is a bunch of bull shit. Didn't we kill all the indians? Or, not all but most of them? If so then eating a feast with them then killing them all, doesn't that seem a bit psychotic to you?I'm calling "Cover Up" In stead of thanksgiving we should call it, "Thanksgiving Cover up."Something like celebrating the birth of Christ on Dec 25 when it was really the day that the pagans worshiped the sun and the tree. Where do you think the christmas tree came from?Now go back to sleep little ones. 

Ex-Oligarch ThrowAwayYourTV Thu, 11/23/2017 - 15:08 Permalink

What kind of moronic, victim-centered fantasy version of history do you subscribe to?  The native americans were not a bunch of pussycats and dupes.  They were hard and violent peoples living in a difficult environment who had spent millenia slaughtering each other before the Europeans showed up on their shores, and then spent the next century or so periodically slaughtering both each other and the Europeans on the frontier. If anything, the Thanksgiving story fosters the ahistorical myth of the gentle, noble savage living at peace with his brothers under natural law, which the progressive ideologues are bent on perpetuating with their usual mix of guilt, paternalism and self-delusion. 

In reply to by ThrowAwayYourTV

JustPastPeacefield Ex-Oligarch Thu, 11/23/2017 - 15:28 Permalink

Exactly! The Thanksgiving myth that I grew up with - Pilgrims and Indians coming together to give thanks for the fruits of their hard labor before the harsh winter set in - was nothing but positive. It fostered a sense of goodwill among people - Whites and Indians in particular - and what the hell was wrong with that? But of course, the progressive haters were hell-bent on destroying every ounce of goodwill that existed among people in America. Sow the seeds of hate, and why not start in preschool. And really lay it on thick once they get to college. Someday they'll regret destroying our culture, but they should be aware - there are no do-overs. I often wonder what you tell the little gay boys growing up in Europe. Don't worry, Islam is a religion of peace? Now there's one helluva myth! Unfortunately, that myth isn't so benign. 

In reply to by Ex-Oligarch

James T. Kirk ThrowAwayYourTV Thu, 11/23/2017 - 15:35 Permalink

A careful review of the Scriptures and NASA star charts reveals that when the wise men brought gifts to Jesus, it was over a year since he had been born, and could quite easily have been on Dec 25. My money is on the wise men being the foundation for Christmas giving. This is in spite of my acknowledgment that Christmas also coincides with a pagan solar holiday (gotta love those Catholics, who apparently invented the word “inclusiveness”).

In reply to by ThrowAwayYourTV

Miffed Microbi… Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:29 Permalink

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Keep gratitude in your heart always and never forget what is truly important in this seemingly hopeless Life. Truth, Forgiveness and Love. Discover this and be free.

Now I will try and not burn a 36 pound turkey


Parrotile Miffed Microbi… Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:48 Permalink

Happy Christmas to you too!  Here's something to "look forward to" in 2018 -'Cause if it can be done, "someone" will probably do it! :-)  The possibility of chimaeric bioweapons has certainly been investigated by the US, and almost certainly by others, including North Korea and China)

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Miffed Microbi… Parrotile Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:06 Permalink

Wow! And when I thought my life was getting a bit boring in the last month I had a Gongylonema pulchrum case ( note to all, please serve your cockroaches and dung beetles well cooked today! Worms swarming in your mouth will not be pleasant) a Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection ( and I like to walk barefoot on our dirt road) and a Prototheca infection ( the attack of killer Algae!). Plus yesterday itself was 4 cases of Coccidioides, all patients were diabetic and had to be hospitalized. The hidden scourge of diabetes is infections.

My field makes thankfulness come quite easily. A merry Christmas to you and thanks for all the microbial insights from Down Under. May we survive the next year!


In reply to by Parrotile

OMG Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:40 Permalink

Everyone knows according to every Libtardprogressiveleftleaningsatanworshippinghillarysupportermotherfucker, the Russians are responsible for the slaughter of the indians and orange jebbus was ther tweeting about it.