“The center of zeppelin production in the United States was Akron, Ohio. In 1916, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company purchased land near Akron to build a plant that could produce zeppelin aircraft. In 1917, the main Goodyear Company created a subsidiary known as the Goodyear Zeppelin Company to manufacture the zeppelins. That same year, the firm received a contract from the federal government to manufacture nine zeppelins for the United States military during World War I. Unfortunately for the company, its manufacturing facilities were not complete in 1917, so Goodyear completed the first airships inside of a large amusement park building in Chicago, Illinois. The military used these airships to bomb and to spy upon enemy positions.
At the conclusion of World War I, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company continued to manufacture zeppelins. The firm used most of these ships to advertise its products. By the late 1920s and the early 1930s, among the firm’s completed zeppelins were the Pony [1921-1923], Pilgrim , Puritan, Volunteer, Mayflower, Vigilant, Defender, Reliance, Resolute, Enterprise, Ranger, and Columbia. [late 1920s – early 1930s].”
Those zeppelins were mostly used for shore patrol. The biggest hazard was that some yahoos liked to take pot shots at them, but they proved that the airships could sustain the damage and stay afloat. [Source]
[Original image source and date unknown; story found here.
More Thanksgiving stuffing here.]
The early Thanksgiving Day parades often had a circus orientation, and hence the animal elements. Actual lions, tigers, and bears were trucked down city streets, traumatizing them and causing the elicitation of roars and growls that frightened observing children. Wisely, the use of living animals was abandoned after a few years, with animal balloons and floats substituted, together with some great vintage cartoonish stuff that was rather surreal.
[Image and text found here; previous Thanksgiving posts here.]
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
–Edward Winslow, December, 1621
Nearly all of what historians have learned about the first Thanksgiving comes from a single eyewitness report: a letter written in December 1621 by Edward Winslow, one of the 100 or so people who sailed from England aboard the Mayflower in 1620 and founded Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.
Just over 50 colonists are believed to have attended, including 22 men, four married women—including Edward Winslow’s wife—and more than 25 children and teenagers. These were the lucky ones who had made it through a rough entry into the New World, including a harsh winter during which an epidemic of disease swept through the colony, felling nearly half the original group. Some 78 percent of the women who had arrived on the Mayflower had died during the first winter, a far higher percentage than for men or children.
“For the English, [the first Thanksgiving] was also celebrating the fact that they had survived their first year here in New England,” Tom Begley [of Plymoth Plantation] points out.
The Plymouth colonists were likely outnumbered more than two-to-one at the event by their Native American guests. Winslow’s account records “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men.” Massasoit (who was actually named Ousemequin) was the sachem (leader) of the Pokanoket Wampanoag, a local Native American society that had begun dealings with the colonists earlier in 1621.
[Image from here, historical commentary from here.
Related posts here.]
Food, football, and…oppression. That’s what Thanksgiving has come to mean to many Americans. Back in 2007, Seattle public school officials made national news by describing the holiday as a “time of mourning” and a “bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal.” This new narrative describes the Pilgrims as arrogant oppressors who fled persecution only to become persecutors themselves, depriving Native Americans of their land and their lives. But this is wrong on every count.
Should Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude? Or should they mourn it as a day of guilt? Michael Medved, author of The American Miracle, shares the fascinating story of the first Thanksgiving.
Top image found here, and it’s apparently the artwork of Nicolo Sturiano, aka H. Hargrove. The produce stand doesn’t cast a shadow, and there’s something hinky with the General Store windows, but I like the style.
Hear the crickets in the background of the JC video? That’s my ringtone and I never turn it off. Never, because I never have to. I just look around the baseboards and then continue with the important stuff like nothing happened. Like going back to consuming massive quantities of animals, vegetables, tubers, fruits and nuts… at least on Thanksgiving.
In the early years of this country’s formation, Thanksgiving was celebrated intermittently as a time of a bountiful harvest, an insurance policy against winter starvation, and thanks were given to God. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Have a great Holiday, and I hope that the children and grandchildren still fight over the wishbone. –Bunk