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NOVEMBER 17, 2010

THANKSGIVING MYTHS 54°40’ OR FIGHT! THE CHARM OF CHARLESTON


AMERICAN PATRIOT THANKSGIVING MYTHS

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6 THE CHARM OF CHARLESTON

GREAT AMERICAN ACTORS

PAUL NEWMAN


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THE MAN WHO INVENTED BASKETBALL

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

THIS WEEK IN AMERICAN HISTORY


Thought you knew all about Thanksgiving? It is one of the most beloved of American holidays, built on a spirit of gratitude, generosity and a celebration of our luck and abundance. Not to mention lots of turkey and football. All true and all deeply important. It turns out, though, that there are some beliefs about Thanksgiving that need some correction. Read on, and we hope this doesn’t cause you any indigestion.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING AT PLYMOUTH (1914) by Jennie A. Brownscombe 4 AMERICAN PATRIOT


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MYTH 1

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Plymouth Colony Was The Site of The First Thanksgiving

The Turkey-and-Cranberry Sauce Tradition Started with the Pilgrims

Whether this Thanksgiving myth is true depends what you consider a Thanksgiving. The first celebration in what would become the U.S. took place in southern Texas in 1598, when conquistador Juan De Onate arrived at the Rio Grande after a perilous journey. On the Atlantic coast, Berkeley Plantation on the James River claimed a Thanksgiving Day in 1619, two years before the Pilgrims and first Thanksgiving in 1621. So, the Pilgrim’s Plymouth Colony event was likely the third Thanksgiving.

Not likely. While the early English settlers were familiar with turkey, they hadn’t been exposed to cranberries by that point. In addition, they had no corn, potatoes, yams, or most other foods we associate with Thanksgiving. What they did have was deer, and we know they ate that. Very possibly bear, as well. Our traditional meal of turkey and dressing with cranberry sauce is not representative of the settlers’ Thanksgiving feast. In fact, it is traditional because it’s what the Victorians in England enjoyed on their holiday.

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Thanksgiving Originated as a Religious Holiday

We've Celebrated Thanksgiving Every Year Since the First One

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Wrong, again. Once again, you have to decide which one was first one and, in any case, not every year has seen a Thanksgiving as such. Even if you accept the official date as the 1621 Pilgrim feast, the Pilgrims didn’t have another Thanksgiving until 1623, when they celebrated the end of a drought. Thanksgiving wasn’t even a widespread American holiday outside of New England WATCH A HISTORY CHANNEL Next until President Lincoln proclaimed it such VIDEO ON THE ORIGINS OF in 1863. Congress didn’t even make it THANKSGIVING official until 1939. digg del.icio.us reddit ma.gnolia google bo

Not really. Most countries have a religious basis for the national day of thanks, but not the American version. Its origin and tradition is as a fall harvest festival. Think about it: the Pilgrims would never have invited the Native Americans (who they considered heathens) to a religious observance.

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THE CHARM OF CHARLESTON Charleston, SC is a city rich in history, tradition and Southern culture, with a reputation for outstanding accommodations, entertainment and cuisine. Named after King Charles II, it was established in 1670 and is located just south of the mid-point of South Carolina’s coastline, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Charleston’s nickname is The Holy City due to the prominence of churches and steeples on the low-rise cityscape and the fact that it was one of the few cities in the original thirteen colonies to extend religious tolerance to the French Huguenot Church. Charleston was also one of the first colonial cities to allow Jews to practice their faith without restriction. Charleston is well-known across the United States

Charleston’s museums offer a glimpse into the

and beyond for its unique culture, which blends

city’s history. The city is home to the Charleston

traditional southern American with English, French,

Museum, America’s oldest, as well Shem Creek

and West African elements. All are visible in

Maritime Museum, which pays tribute to historical

Charleston’s “Low Country” cuisine. Two of the

maritime Charleston, and the Karpeles Manuscript

most celebrated dishes are shrimp and grits and

Museum, with the largest collection of significant

she-crab soup. There are also a number of differ-

historical manuscripts in the world. Charleston’s

ent breweries offering the authentic taste of

rich military history is on display at Ft. Sumter and

homemade Charleston Beer.

Ft. Moutrie. The Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture collects and preserves the

Founded by the British as a “great port towne”

unique historical and cultural heritage of African-

during the colonial period, mid-18th century

Americans in the South Carolina Low Country.

Charleston became a major trade center, the hub

And standing in remembrance of a dark moment

of Atlantic trade for the southern colonies, and

in Charleston’s history are its historic plantations,

the largest city south of Philadelphia. A focal point

now open to the public, where slaves once labored.

during the Revolutionary war, the city became ex-

In 1995 Marjabelle Young Stewart, an etiquette

tremely prosperous in the post-Revolutionary years

expert recognized Charleston as the “best-man-

through trade and a plantation-dominated econ-

nered” city in the US, clearly exemplified by the

omy. Devoted to the concept of States Rights, South

friendliness of its population. A visit to Charleston

Carolina seceded from the Union and the first shots

offers the delights of modern city life and the tra-

of the Civil War came in Charleston harbor, and the

ditions of a time past.

Confederate soldiers took control of Fort Sumter. Charleston languished for decades, but has seen an economic renaissance in the past three decades.

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SITES TO SEE

GIBBES MUSEUM OF ART Established in 1905, the Gibbes illuminates Charleston’s history with stories of the South Carolina Low OK as seen through painting, OK Country sculpture and photographs.

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SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA Browse Browse Founded in 1977, Spoleto is one of the world’s major performing arts festivals, and features established and emerging artists. KIAWAH ISLAND Named for an Indian tribe from the 1600s, the island features 10 miles of beaches and five world-renowned golf courses just 15 miles from the city. WATCH A VIDEO OF CHARLESTON HIGHLIGHTS

BOONE HALL PLANTATION An antebellum plantation, which includes a post-civil war farmhouse, original slave cabins, several flowering OK gardens and the historic “Avenue of Oaks.”

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FORT SUMTER The first shots of the bloody Civil War took place here in 1861, and the fort remains a powerful symbol of union and disunion. AMERICAN PATRIOT 7


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Born in 1925 in Cleveland, OH, Newman showed an early interest in the theater. After serving in WWII and receiving his undergraduate degree at Kenyon College, he married actress Jacqueline Witte and took over the family sporting goods store. But Newman grew restless and subsequently enrolled at the Yale School of Drama. While there, he travelled to New York City where he won a role in the CBS series The Aldrich Family. In 1953 Newman made his Broadway debut in Picnic where he was spotted by Warner Bros. executives, who offered him a contract.

G R E AT A M E R I CA N ACTO R S

PAUL NEWMAN Paul Newman was as much a hero off-screen as on. A blue-eyed idol whose career successfully spanned five decades, he was also a prominent social activist, a proponent of actors’ creative rights, and a noted philanthropist.

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Though Newman’s early films were disasters, his third film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, was a success, with rave reviews for his performance. In 1958, he starred in The Long Hot Summer and met his second wife, Joanne Woodward. The couple continued to team onscreen throughout their careers. When he appeared in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Newman scored his first Academy Award nomination. He was one of the few actors to successfully make the transition from 1950s cinema to that of the 1960s and 70s. His rebellious nature recommended him to the new generation and he received a second, third and fourth Oscar nomination. On his sixth attempt, Newman won the Oscar for Best Actor for The Color of Money. He continued making movies until 2002, and in 2007 announced he would retire because he could no longer act at the level he wanted to. Newman’s efforts off-screen were equally prolific. In 1968 he and Woodward made headlines by campaigning full time for Democratic candidate Eugene McCarthy and for their strong opposition to the war in Vietnam. With Barbara Streisand and Steve McQueen,

Newman founded First Artists, a production company created to offer performers the opportunity to produce their own projects. Productions included The Sting, which won the 1973 Oscar for Best Picture. With writer AE Hotchner, Newman founded Newman’s Own, a line of food products whose proceeds would be donated to charity. Newman also began his own charities, the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, and the Scott Newman Foundation, started after the drug-related death of his son. He was also an avid racecar driver and raced frequently in major races including Le Mans and the Can-Am and Trans-Am series.

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In 2008, Newman was diagnosed with lung cancer and died soon thereafter in his beloved town of Westport, CT. Father of six children, he died surrounded by friends and family.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A MONTAGE OF SOME OF PAUL NEWMAN’S GREATEST MOVIE MOMENTS


54°40’ OR FIGHT! 10 AMERICAN PATRIOT


With Canada and America sharing the longest peaceful border in the world, it is strange to think that war once almost broke out over the exact location of the border in the great Northwest where the U.S., Canada and then-Russian Alaska met. Strange but true. The story is this. In the early 19th Century, the U.S. and British Canada had established a joint claim over the Oregon territory, which covered lands west of the Rockies and all the up to the border with Alaska. When joint governance caused friction, however, the parties decided to divide the territory.

Enter James K. Polk (pictured above) who, as the 1844 Democratic presidential candidate, ran on a platform of taking control over the entire territory. His campaign popularized the slogan, “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!” (that was the line of latitude serving as the

northern boundary of the territory). Polk threatened to go to war unless the U.S. was granted the entire territory, and he won the election by soundly defeating a less bellicose Henry Clay of the Whig Party. After the election, calmer heads prevailed. Polk, eyeing expansion in Texas and Mexico, did not want a second war on his hands. When the British Ambassador, proposed a compromise — to use the 49th parallel as a border to divide the territory but loop southward around Vancouver Island so the British could keep the island intact — both sides backed down and war was averted. The Treaty of Oregon, signed in 1846, is still the law today and the border, which now separates Washington State and British Columbia, still stands. During the negotiations in 1845, magazine editor John O’Sullivan wrote an article stating that the U.S. had a “manifest destiny to overspread the whole of the Continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty.” The term — Manifest Destiny — became a popular term for the inevitable expansion of the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

< MAP SHOWING PROPOSED BOUNDARIES RELATING TO OREGON QUESTION. From Political History of Oregon by James Henry Brown, copyright W.B. Allen 1892. AMERICAN PATRIOT 11


JAMES NAISMITH THE MAN WHO INVENTED

BASKETBALL When you think of the fast, flashy and popular spectacle of basketball today, it is hard to remember that that game was not invented all that long ago and was intended as a quiet game of indoor skill for students. The man who invented basketball, Dr. James Naismith was born in 1861 in Canada. He always attributed the notion of basketball as arising from a schoolboy game involving rock tossing that he had played outside his one-room schoolhouse. Naismith grew up to attend McGill University in Montreal and, after serving as the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Athletic Director, he moved on to the YMCA Training School in Springfield MA in 1891. In snowy western Massachusetts, Naismith was faced with finding a sport suitable for play inside during the winter for the students at the School for Christian Workers. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students, and one that could be played indoors in a relatively small space. The first version of his invention was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets used as goals. Players tried to throw the ball into the elevated peach baskets. PICTURED TOP LEFT:

The 1899 University of Kansas basketball team, with Dr. James Naismith at the back, right. PICTURED BOTTOM LEFT:

The first basketball court at Springfield College. 12 AMERICAN PATRIOT


BASKETBALL GAMES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS’ ALLEN FIELDHOUSE TAKE PLACE ON THE JAMES NAISMITH COURT.

The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in January 1892 with nine players. The game ended at 1-0; the single score was made from 25 feet, on a court just half the size of a present-day standard court. By 1897, teams of five became standard and, with the help and missionary zeal of the liquidicity YMCA movement, the game spread quickly throughout the country. The sport caught on and evolved quickly. Peach baskets, used until 1906, were replaced by metal hoops with backboards and nets. Baskets, originally nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, were often interfered with by spectators. The solution: a backboard was introduced to prevent interference and had the additional effect of allowing rebound shots. While the “Y” eventually discouraged the sport for its rowdiness, other clubs, colleges, and professional

clubs filled the void. The first pro league, the National Basketball League, was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote a less rough game. The rest, as they say, is history. As for Naismith, he joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1898, teaching physical education and as chaplain. In addition to creating the game of basketball, James Naismith graduated as a medical doctor, primarily interested in OKwe would today call sports physiology and what sports science, and as Presbyterian minister with a keen interest Cancel in clean living. Naismith watched the sport spread to many nations and to the Berlin Olympics in 1936, where he was Browse an honored guest. He died in 1939 and, posthumously, the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield is named in his honor.

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PLAN YOUR TRIP TO THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME IN MASSACHUSETTS AMERICAN PATRIOT 13


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”

— JOHNNY CARSON COMEDIAN AND “KING OF LATE NIGHT TELEVISION” AS HOST OF THE TONIGHT SHOW FROM 1962-1992

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THIS WEEK IN

AMERICAN HISTORY

1851. Moby-Dick, arguable the greatest classic of American literature and a staple of high school English classes, was published by Harper & Brothers. The author, Herman Melville, served in the Merchant Marines, the U.S. Navy, and on a whaling ship, and he brought this knowledge to his story about the obsessive quest to track a great white whale. The book was initially unsuccessful, and Melville worked for 20 years as a Customs Inspector to support himself. AMERICAN PATRIOT 15


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