Bob Mitchell: Thanksgiving, then and now

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's been 394 years since the first Thanksgiving back in 1621, when the Pilgrims had a hard winter, suffered a number of problems, and were not having bountiful prospects for a celebration.


But, out of the surrounding woods came the Native American Indians, which the new arrivals from England had put off their property, who came back bearing all the food items needed for the intended banquet.

The Native Americans probably didn't understand much of what was going on. They had their own styles and customs to follow. What the folks in that funny attire went through during the gathering must have seemed somewhat strange to the visitors at the event.

Still, it was the very first Thanksgiving -- one of those events, although dates were changed for convenience a couple of times, remains one of the favorite gathering times for families throughout the nation.

This Thursday, when we gather somewhere, the fortunate will provide their own food without outside help.

Coming forward

Looking forward to modern days, let's look at what has happened since that first Thanksgiving near Plymouth Rock.

As time went by and more people escaped persecution to make their way across the Atlantic, many changes occurred for the Native Americans. Some of those folks making the trip were those who were seeing the possibility of expanding their property and financial holdings in the New World.

Putting all reasons together for the new arrivals in America, history tells us the Native Americans were being moved out of their original lands in favor of the way of life for those folks who were getting off the boats.

Moving to the west

Sooner than later, what was to happen did come to pass, and even whole tribes were moved to western lands, probably thought by the newcomers to America not to be all that desirable. Things got to the stage at one time where Native Americans were recruited to wage war against the establishment on a couple of instances.

Those lands from which the Native Americans had been removed were discovered to be of value by the "White Eyes," so the resources of the new country were once again turned against the Native Americans to move them somewhere else to make room for further expansion by special interests.

These new lands were found to yield riches in later years that could have been held by the Native Americans. Instead, the real estate became would belong to corporations who would turn resources of the land into vast amounts of profit.

Getting even

Whether the Native Americans were ahead of the game or not isn't exactly certain, but they did manage to hold or secure valuable properties that they would eventually develop into money-making opportunities. This would be their casino properties, which through the slots and games could be bringing some of the riches they were denied back to them.

The Native Americans, in their operations of today, are fully aware of how to get the crowds to their facilities. Their special promotions put their story of availability out there, with a welcome mat always outside of their doors.

There might not be a tribe in this country that hasn't taken advantage of this way of providing for facilities and services for their people through this somewhat new method of operation.

Although regulated in most instances by the states in which they operate, they are now in a position that they will not be moved to accommodate someone else.

Still Thanksgiving

This is somewhat of a spoof of what followed the first Thanksgiving, strictly in my opinion. This isn't intended to deter from the real meaning of Thanksgiving, no matter how it might be celebrated or observed this Thursday.

There will still be bountiful tables laid out by most families. Fortunately, for those not in a position to provide their own layout, organizations are in place to make sure their day is as enjoyable as possible, and open to all.

This observance of Thanksgiving has many opportunities for giving thanks. While there are many problems still existing in the world, just living in this country, having God's blessings, for those enjoying good health and having family around them is sufficient for an observance.

Our family's wish

As a matter of record, it's time for the Mitchell family to extend their special Thanksgiving blessing to each and every one. From here in Cassville, to Colorado, to Kansas, to Washington, D.C., and to Florida, it's our hope that Thanksgiving 2015 is the greatest.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.