Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

How the Irish saved Thanksgiving

“The first Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on Feb 21, 1621 when a band of starving pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were saved at the last minute by the arrival of a ship from Dublin bearing food from Ireland.

According to the ‘Observant Citizen,’ a columnist for the Boston Post, the Pilgrims in the winter of their first year were starving and faced the end of the their project to colonize the new world when ‘a ship arrived from overseas bearing the much needed food.’

Because of anti-Irish prejudice at the time, the ‘Observant Citizen’ neglected to name it as an Irish ship, but it was actually The Lyon and ‘its provenance and that of the food was Dublin Ireland.'”

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Languages do matter!


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