The Thanksgiving story you know probably goes a bit like this: English Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they found a rich land full of animals and were greeted by a friendly Indian named Squanto, who taught them how to plant corn.
The true story is more complicated. Once you learn about the real Squanto — also known as Tisquantum — you’ll have a great yarn to tell your family over the Thanksgiving table.
How is it that Squanto knew how to speak perfect English when the Pilgrims arrived?
Then the Pilgrims showed up in what is now Plymouth in 1620 and promptly started starving to death.
Columbus landed in 1492 on the island later called Hispaniola. Our history books seem to indicate that nothing else happened for 128 years until the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. Yet the Tisquantum story gives you this tiny peek into that all the people involved had been interacting for more than a century. The truth is that French sailors were on Cape Cod in 1620 and apparently sailors and explorers of other nations had been up and down the Atlantic coast for years. The Pilgrims from England (and even earlier from Leyden in the Netherlands) were only one of many groups in the area.
You can read more in an interesting article by Nick Baumann in the Huffington Post at: http://bit.ly/2zKjoum.