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Rush: The True Story of Thanksgiving

“Rush was such an important part of our lives. As you know, he loved the holidays and couldn’t wait to be with you on the radio, especially during this time of year. I am certain you have fond memories of driving in your car or sitting with your family listening to Rush tell the true story of Thanksgiving. Let’s continue the annual tradition! No matter the challenges, we are so fortunate to live in a miraculous free country with limitless opportunities. We must always stand up for and protect the values of our founding as Rush did so courageously. Happy Thanksgiving! ~Kathryn Adams Limbaugh”

RUSH: So, my second book was See, I Told You So. The first book is The Way Things Ought to Be and the second book is See, I Told You So. “Chapter 6, Dead White Guys, or What the History Books Never Told You: The True Story of Thanksgiving.”

Now, normally what I do is simply read from my first book. But there has now been another book added in the Rush Revere series, and the first Rush Revere book is Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. These are children’s books that were written to help young people get the true stories of America’s founding because so little of it is actually correctly taught.

In the children’s book version, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, I went into a little bit more detail about the Indians, the Native Americans who helped the arriving Pilgrims and what that story actually is and how the True Story of Thanksgiving has been obscured by what is taught — what I was taught, you were probably taught. Here’s the version you were probably taught:

The Pilgrims arrived here after an arduous trip across the Atlantic Ocean. They didn’t know why they were, had no idea what to do. They had nothing. The Indians took pity on them. The Indians saw them, and the Indians saved them. The Indians taught ’em how to do things they didn’t know how to do, like grow food, catch beavers, stuff like that.

The Indians saved them, and the Pilgrims thanked them by growing a whole bunch of food and having this big feast. So, the story of Thanksgiving that’s taught is basically how without the Native Americans there wouldn’t be a country because the Pilgrims would have died. At least the Pilgrims were nice enough to pay the Indians back with a big Thanksgiving dinner.

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That’s not at all what happened. It’s not even close to what happened, which is why I decided to write about it. Now, in the Revere book — the children’s book, as I say — I went into greater detail about some of the Native Americans who provided assistance to the arriving Pilgrims, particularly a young native by the name of Squanto.

Now, I’m doing show prep today, and I come across a story in The Federalist. I quote from this website all the time, and I’m reading this story here, and, by the way, folks, it is… (chuckles) I don’t know. It’s right out of the Rush Revere book, and it’s right out of my See, I Told You So book. There’s a whole lot of discussion here of Squanto, who he was, what he did, how he helped, the details.

The point is The True Story of Thanksgiving is spreading, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Bottom line: It is spreading. I’m just gonna cut to the chase here before getting into reading the text. The Real Story of Thanksgiving, going back to the very first early days of the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, is that socialism failed.

This is crucially important today, because we have just elected a Democrat Party that is going to implement socialism if they win these two seats in Georgia, and they’re gonna try regardless. But if they win those two seats in Georgia, you can say good-bye to the United States as you know it. It will become a socialist state. It will begin the process of becoming…

Well, we’re way down the road towards it anyway. So, it is crucially important here for people to understand this. It’s not antiquated. It’s not a cliche. It’s not something that you can make fun of people about. You know, it used to be when I first started this show in the late eighties, early nineties, if you dared to refer to the Soviet Union as “communist,” people made fun of you.

“Ah, come on, Rush! You see a communist behind every rock,” and they tried to ridicule you out of identifying communists and communism. Castro, the ChiComs. I never buckled, but a lot of people did — and they’re doing it now. If you say, “The United States, the Democrat Party’s on the pathway to socialism,” they make fun of you. They mock you.

“Come on! You don’t believe that. You can’t believe that! That’s just silly,” and they try to mock you and make fun of you, to silence you. But, folks, it’s real. Now… “The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century… The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize [the church’s] absolute civil and spiritual authority,” actually, the state.

“Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down…” This is in England in the 1600s. They “were hunted down and imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists,” people who didn’t want any part of this, “first fled to Holland,” they liked wooden shoes and cheese, “and established a community.”

They were there for eleven years. “After eleven years, about forty of” these separatists who liked wooden shoes and cheese, “agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World…” They had heard about it. Some new, exciting place that hadn’t been developed. They knew they would “face hardships,” hardships like you and I don’t know — and I’m not preaching to you.

I’m just telling you, we don’t know the hardship these people endured. We can’t. We are way too advanced now. People who lived in the 1600s would not believe life today. (Snort!) Try to explain flight, jet travel. They wouldn’t understand it. They knew they would “face hardships,” but paramount importance to them was living freely and worshiping God according to the dictates of their own consciences, their own beliefs.

That’s what they were denied the freedom to do in England. “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty” of these separatists, the Pilgrims. There were just 40 of them. They were “led by William Bradford. On the journey” across the Atlantic… You talk about something that had to be frightening and scary?

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The Mayflower was not much bigger than a 50-foot boat, and 102 people on it. “On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract” if you will, “that established just and equal laws for all [40] members of the [Pilgrim] community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.” It didn’t matter what their religious beliefs were.

These are the laws they were all agreeing to live by. “Where did the revolutionary ideas,” these laws, come from? We’re talking about the Mayflower Compact. That is what Bradford wrote. The Mayflower Compact derived “[f]rom the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments.”

They were devoutly religious people. No matter what else is said about them (and even that is denied), they were devoutly religious. “They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.”

They never doubted they would get to the New World. They never doubted that once they got there, they would thrive. The journey was long; it was arduous; it was dangerous. And when they finally landed, when the Pilgrims finally landed in New England in November, according to William Bradford’s detailed journal, they found a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. Imagine New England as it exists today as nothing but rocks, forest, undeveloped nature in November and getting colder.

There were no friends to greet them. There was no shelter of any kind other than hiding under a tree, there was nothing, folks. It was desolate. There were no hotels. There were no inns. There were no places to clean up. There were no houses. I mean, this was real hardship. The sacrifice that they had made for the freedom to worship was just beginning.

During that first winter — remember, they arrive in November — during that first winter, half of them, including William Bradford’s own wife, died of starvation, of sickness, exposure to the elements. Now we’re getting close to what you were taught in school. When spring finally came — and, by the way, writing that doesn’t do it justice. Spring didn’t just finally come. It was a survival. It was an act of survival that you and I cannot possibly relate to or understand.

American Special Forces can. Military people who’ve been trained can understand what the Pilgrims were — you and I can’t. We’ve never done anything like that first winter in the New World. They survived it. Spring finally came. They did meet the Indians, the Native Americans who were there, who did help them in planting corn and fishing for cod. They showed ’em where the beavers were so the beavers could be skinned for coats, other things. You animal rights people are not gonna like some of this story, but it happened.

But even at this, even with this degree of assistance from the Indians, the Native Americans, there wasn’t any prosperity yet. They had the Mayflower Compact. They had these laws they were living by, and there was no prosperity. And I wonder why. Now, this is important to understand here, folks, because this is where modern American history lessons end, with the Indians teaching the Pilgrims how to eat, how to fish, how to skin beavers, and all that.

That’s where it ends. And that’s the feel-good story. But that doesn’t even get close to the true story. You know, Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives. It wasn’t that. That happened, but Thanksgiving was a devout expression of gratitude, the Pilgrims, to God for their survival, and everything that was a part of it.

Now, here’s the part that has been omitted. The original contract the Pilgrims entered into in Holland — they had sponsors. They didn’t have the money to do this trip on their own. They had sponsors. There were merchant sponsors in London and in Holland. And these merchant sponsors demanded that everything that the Pilgrims produced in the New World would go into a common store, a single bank, if you will. And that each member of the Pilgrim community was entitled to one share.

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So everybody had an equal share of whatever was in that bank. All of the land they cleared, all of the houses they built belonged to that bank, to the community as well. And they were going to distribute it equally, because they were gonna be fair. So all of the land that they cleared and all the houses they built belonged to everybody. Belonged to the community. Belonged to the bank, belonged to the common store. Nobody owned anything. They just had an equal share in it. It was a commune.

The Pilgrims established a commune, essentially. Forerunner of the communes we saw in the sixties and seventies out in California. They even had their own organic vegetables, by the way. Yep. The Pilgrims, forerunners of organic vegetables. Of course, what else could there be? No such thing as processed anything back then.

Now, William Bradford, who had become the governor of the colony ’cause he was the leader, recognized that this wasn’t gonna work. This was costly and destructive, and it just wasn’t working. It was collectivism. It was socialism. It wasn’t working. That first winner had taken a lot of lives. The manpower was greatly reduced. So William Bradford decided to take bold action, which I will describe when we get back.