Early Arctic Blast: Okay….may that’s hyperbole…but our average high this time of year is 49 and
we’re going to continue our trend of being at least 10 degrees below average that began on November 15. Except for today, it’s been nothing but cold turkey for us since Thanksgiving and we’re headed back to the cooler. The front Wednesday night and Thursday morning brought some light showers a shade earlier than anticipated but the bulk of the real rain overnight with some brief, relatively insignificant light snow is still in the offing for perhaps drive time. Keep in mind I’m writing this on Wednesday evening so my concern would be that in northern counties, air temperatures may fall below freezing and with melted snow, the roads may be wet and overpasses could produce with a few icy spots. Probably not a huge concern but something to keep in mind. After that…forget about the low 50’s of Wednesday or even 40’s through the weekend. Highs in the mid 30’s will generally be the rule each day. A secondary push of cold air on Saturday will not only reinforce the cold but also perhaps kick off some flurries or minor snow showers.
On This Date in History: While Thanksgiving has come and gone…and we learned already about the genesis of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US…Americans are taught in school about how the Indians hooked up with the Pilgrims near Plymouth Rock to have a big feast in 1621. Now, we sit around stuffing ourselves with Turkey (not the vegetarian Snow White) and watch football games with our eyes closed and belts loosened. Trouble is, the Puritans didn’t call themselves Pilgrims. They referred to themselves as “saints” which seems a bit presumptuous considering not too many years down the road they were burning “witches” at the stake. The other thing is that the real first Thanksgiving was on this date in 1620 and it was in Virginia.
The first permanent settlement in the New World was Jamestown in 1607 in the Virginia Colony and it wasn’t doing
too well. The settlers didn’t know what they were doing and the winters were harsh…remember this was during the mini-ice age. Anyway, by the spring of 1610, the colonists were coming off a tough winter and only 60 of the original 409 were left. Sounds like a good time for prayers to me! And that’s what they did and when help arrived in the form of a ship with food and supplies from mother England, they gave thanks with a prayer service. I guess they weren’t a sentamental lot because they never did anything to commemorate the event.
Two other groups came to Virginia. They were supposed to arrive in Virginia but one(the Mayflower) ended up in Plymouth in 1620. The other (the Margaret) made it to Virginia on December 4, 1619 and their charter read “Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival…in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.” On December 4, 1620 they commemorated their first year in the colony, not with a feast, but instead they did the opposite and fasted as they prayed. Guess we got that part wrong too. The colonists who landed at what they called Berkeley Hundred didn’t get a chance to mark their second anniversary…they were all killed by Indians. Maybe they were upset that they weren’t invited to the First Thanksgiving.