Saturday, July 19, 2014

Coming to America: The Immigrant Experience During the Cold War (I)

As thousands of refugee children from Latin America rush to enter the United States and politicians even more hastily rush to trade accusations about security and humanity, immigration is once again a hot issue this summer.

Ironically, the country makes a point of holding especially festive citizenship ceremonies for new Americans on the 4th of July. (Here, stories of local immigrants and festivities in the Gazette: 1, 2, 3, 4). As I followed the news stories and prepared for the July 4th weekend, I suddenly realized that it was exactly 65 years ago, in July 1949, that my father came to America. Three years later, he became a citizen. Those who arrived here at that time had been fated to live in "interesting times" (as the apocryphal Chinese expression would have it): the European world that had given birth to them and shaped their identities was destroyed, yet the new American world did not fully understand them, either.

The following artifacts are a modest testimony to that experience.

Then, as now, every prospective citizen had to study to pass a test and qualify for admission. But becoming a citizen was about acculturation, not just education. Much of the naturalization process involved teaching the newcomers how to be(come) American. Just to make sure, the government provided further reading for the time after securing the coveted certificate, as well.

This booklet, written by the Attorney General and Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (1951) contained:
  • The Star-Spangled Banner (text)
  • Greetings from the President and the Attorney General
  • The Meaning of American Citizenship, By Argyle R. Mackey, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service: no longer a foreign citizen, but also not "a hyphenated-Amercican."
  • The Duties of a Citizen [include: obeying laws, voting, informing oneself about issues on the ballot, paying taxes, jury duty, holding office, serving in the military, etc.]
  • Rights and Privileges of a Citizen: basically standard civil and political rights, derived from the Constitution
  • Photo of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives, along with an "Oath of Allegiance"
  • The Five Qualities of the Good Citizen
  • "America" (My country! 'tis of thee; text) 
  • Memories of the Occasion (space for "signatures," "messages of congratulation," and "newspaper clippings")
    The "Five Qualities of the Good Citizen":
    1. "cherishes democratic values and bases his actions on them"
    2. "practices democratic human relationship in the family, school, community, and the larger scenes"
    3. "recognizes the social problems of  the times and has the will and the ability to work toward their solution"
    4. "is aware of and takes responsibility for meeting basic human needs"
    5. "possesses and uses knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary in a democratic society" 
    Most of this was the standard stuff. The "Five Qualities" are unobjectionable--even admirable. If phrased in the language of a warrant article, they could pass muster even in Amherst Town Meeting. But it was also the era of McCarthyism, which caused my parents some concern. (More on that on another occasion, perhaps.) The combination of the hunt for subversives and the dominant doctrine of assimilation could create an atmosphere of uncertainty for even the most well-intentioned of immigrants. 

    A piece in the booklet by Argyle R. Mackey, Interim Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, reflected the combined spirit of democratic hospitality and assimilationist advice:
    Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America. You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole. Neither are you a hyphenated-American--a Polish-American, an Italian-American. You are no longer the subject of a government. Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government--a freeman--a Citizen of the United States of America.

    This citizenship, which has been solemnly conferred on you, is a thing of the spirit--not of the flesh. When you took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States you claimed for yourself the God-given unalienable rights which that sacred document sets forth as the natural right of all men.
    One notes that only immigrants from southern and east-central Europe merited the term, "hyphenated." (No one, after all, speaks of an English-American.) Not coincidentally, these were immigrants from the groups whose entry was severely curtailed by the notorious Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924. Its replacement, the likewise restrictive McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act, aimed particularly against immigrants from "eastern" Europe, passed Congress over President Truman's veto days before my father received his citizenship.

    The stress on popular government must have been empowering. To what extent was it offset in the minds of the newcomer by the equal stress on assimilation and homogenization?  A subtly engaging short film, "The Cummington Story" (1945; score by Aaron Copland) shows how standoffish New Englanders and insecure European refugees right here in western Massachusetts overcame cultural barriers to become friends as well as neighbors.

    In 1952, Congress changed the name of the holiday honoring new Americans from "I Am an American Day" to "Citizenship Day" and shifted the date from the third Sunday in May to September 17, the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution. In accordance with President Truman's declaration, the Mayor of Minneapolis held a reception for the newcomers at City Hall.

    My father was selected as one of the two new citizens to speak at the ceremony. The name of the other, "Mrs. H.A. Bullis," is somewhat misleading. She was a fellow Polish refugee, the Countess Maria Smorczewska, who was active in the underground during the war, fled to the US in 1947, and married the widowed Harry Amos Bullis, Chairman of the Board of General Mills, in 1948.

    The program of the ceremony refers to the new Americans receiving four things: "Certificates of Naturalization," instructions concerning "The Etiquette of the Flag," "Greeting Cards," and "Citizenship Buttons."
    I of course have the Certificate of Naturalization. Curiously, given that my father was a meticulous record-keeper (regardless of whether the subject was his travel experiences, the family budget, the car's gas mileage, or my height and weight as an infant), I did not find the other items among his papers and memorabilia.

    It is possible that the booklet welcoming immigrants to American citizenship constituted the "greeting card," for I found it along with the above program. In any event, I do have the flag presented at the naturalization ceremony. My parents each had one, and I recall playing with one as a child.
    Here is the other, still striking in its freshness and simplicity. Protected from the light all these many years, it has kept its color, which appears to have been stenciled with paint onto the fabric (presumably linen?). It is less vibrant than some of today's flags, but the fabric
    Back then, of course, the flag had only 48 stars, here in the configuration specified by the Executive Order of President Taft, 24 June 1912. It did not change until the admission of Alaska and Hawaii under President Eisenhower, both in 1959.

    At any rate, here is one of them, still striking in its freshness and simplicity. Protected from the light all these many years, it has kept its color, which appears to have been stenciled with paint onto the fabric (presumably linen?). It makes a nice contrast to the cheap and garish flags of our day.

    Back then, of course, the flag had only 48 stars, here in the configuration specified by the Executive Order of President Taft, 24 June 1912. It did not change until the admission of Alaska and Hawaii under President Eisenhower, both in 1959.

    American flag, c. 9 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches

    As I've said before: whatever America's flaws and continuing problems, I'd much rather live in a country that people are fighting to get into rather than out of. Happy Fourth of July--and a warm welcome to all those still struggling to join us as citizens of this constantly evolving country.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Ramadan Kareem

    Wishing all my friends and readers all the best for the month of Ramadan.

    In 2011, belatedly recognizing the religious diversity of our country, the United States Postal Service issued this Eid stamp
    I am sorry that the 9th Annual Ramadan Iftar sponsored by The Turkish Cultural Center of Springfield and the UMass Rumi Club was canceled this year. It is an event that I have very much enjoyed attending in years past: one of the few genuinely multicultural gatherings here because it actually educates rather than merely promulgating platitudes.

    I of course nonetheless take to heart the spirit of the season. Because Ramadan this year falls during a time of renewed conflict in the Middle East, here are two selections from previous posts.

    In 2011, Gershon Baskin and Hanna Siniora of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) offered the following simple greeting:
        To all of our Muslim friends and colleagues, Ramadan Kareem!

        May we all enjoy the blessings of health, prosperity, happiness and peace into our lives and may we all multiply it and share with others as well!  

    And in 2012, Michael Oren, Ambassador to the US from Israel (whose population is 20% Muslim) said the following at the White House Iftar:
        It is a world grounded in our holy books. Tonight, of course, is Laylat al-Qadr, the night of the Holy Quran’s revelation. As a student, I spent an entire year reading the Quran and vividly remember how it referred to the Jews as Ahlu al-Kitab—the People of the Book. It says in Sura 29, “Our God and your God is one, and to Him do we submit.” And in Sura 3, the Jews are invited to, “Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but God, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God.”

        Similarly, the Bible tells us, in the Book of Psalms, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” And the Book of Proverbs says, fittingly for this Ramadan feast, “Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting, with strife."

    * * *

    Previous Ramadan posts:

    • 2012 Ramadan Reflection
    • 2012 Eid Mubarak!
    • 2011 Ramadan in Amherst: Celebration of Community and Concerns Over Intolerance
    • 2010 Ramadan Kareem! (with some tools for keeping track of non-Christian holidays)

    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Season of Blooms--and Blogging?

    The advent of summer, marking a transition of some sort--whether the beginning of new ways or the return to old ones--seems an appropriate time to get back to writing here. For that matter, Independence Day could be appropriate, as well. In any case, it's been much longer than I expected.

    * * *

    An appropriate metaphor?
    Traditional or old garden roses (=pre-1867) generally had fragrant, double-blossomed flowers (white, pink, red), which bloomed briefly only once in a season, on old wood. In the course of the nineteenth century, breeders sought to develop cultivars with multiple desirable attributes, able to bloom on new growth throughout the season. One result, alas, was the insipid (not colorless, but usually odorless and sometimes tasteless) and ubiquitous hybrid tea rose that we give to our lovers on Valentine's Day and other special occasions. Go to a garden of old roses in June, and then tell me why we should waste big bucks on a bouquet of American Beauty.

    Above: the Rose de Rescht, one of my stalwarts (though not recently sold around here), with the best virtues of an old rose and the new: ancient variety, strong fragrance, repeat (but not constant modern) blooming. A Damask, it was purportedly introduced to France in 1807, and to England circa 1880. Although the specifics of hybridization are unclear, it is generally said to have been reintroduced to England and Europe from Iran by Miss Lindsay, circa late 1940s.

    * * *

    Lots of things--mostly work (a.k.a. the "day job"), but also sundry civic and family obligations--got in the way. Scribbling here just did not seem to be the highest priority (not that it ever was).

    In the intervening period, I've also been changing my writing habits and outlets:  focusing more on a few important "longform" pieces (they used to be called: "essays," or "articles") for other venues (though I may sometimes link to them here), while more frequently sharing links and brief observations on Twitter (@CitizenWald), and images or other brief posts on Tumblr. Look to the latter in particular for images with short text, though generally cross-referenced to this site.

    As for this page, I have a few new summary rubrics as well as individual posts in mind.

    In the meantime, here are some "coming attractions" (though without guarantee of when any individual piece will appear):
    • Leni Riefenstahl goes grocery shopping
    • Mrs. Chamberlain defends appeasement
    • Best. Course. Title. Ever.
    • How I got quoted by the AP.
    • Proof that you can fool some of the people all of the time.
    • And of course material for the World War I centenary.

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Prosit Neujahr! The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Army railroad engineers wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    As I pondered which historical Christmas or New Year's artifact to share this year, I managed to settle on a modest one that addresses both holidays and moreover anticipates the course on twentieth-century Europe that I am teaching this spring.

    It is a combined Christmas and New Year's military Field Post greeting card from the 11th Railroad Company of the Imperial and Royal (k.u.k.) Austro-Hungarian army, from 1915. An elf, using the railroad emblem as his wheelbarrow, trundles a tiny snow-covered sign denoting the Company down the track.

    The address side depicts the leader of the chief allied state, a fiercely martial German Emperor Wilhelm II.

    The card thus seems to differ from the typical commercial card of the era in that it has prominent graphic content on both sides. Early postcards reserved one side for the image and the other exclusively for the address. Senders therefore scribbled any message on the image side, which seems strange to modern sensibilities. After the advent of the "divided back" postcard in 1907, senders could use one side for both address and message, in the manner familiar to us (or which was familiar, until the rise of mobile electronic communication), although some of the more verbose correspondents allowed their prose to overflow onto the "picture" side.

    The card, dated Christmas Eve, 1915, and postmarked 26 December, is from one Lieutenant Hugo Mischek to his wife Bertha in "Ober Erlitz," a small town (1930 population: 374) within the larger precincts of Grulich, Bohemia: today, Olomoucký Kraj in the Pardubice region of the Czech Republic. (The mixture of German personal names and Slavic family name—though in Germanized spelling—reminds us that the relation between nominal ethnic ancestry and personal identity was often complex in the multiethnic Danube Monarchy.)

    The address and inscription are written in the purplish indelible pencil typical of the era: in that context, a sort of "predecessor to the ball-point pen", very useful in the field. Lt. Mischek wishes his wife "a most lovely Christmas celebration," with "warmest greetings." Immediately beneath this, a comrade adds, "Hugo is doing quite well" and the Austrian salutation, "I kiss your hand!" while other members of the unit simply add their signatures. Presumably, the men came from the same region. The intimacy suggested by the use of the first name may also be in part a matter of cultural style. The Berlin-born historian Felix Gilbert recalled being "highly astonished," "almost shocked" to hear Austrian officers, upon meeting one another for the first time, promptly slip into the informal address, "Du," which the reserved and punctilious Prussians would never countenance.

    The modest artifact is noteworthy in at least two ways.

    First, it reminds us that this was a new kind of war. Almost since the inception of the railroad, governments sensed its military usefulness, but it took them some time to put this insight into practical effect. The success of the Prussian army in rapidly bringing 370,00 troops to bear against the 240,000 of France in 1870 was a wake-up call. "Build no more fortresses, build railways," was the advice of General von Moltke, and other nations began to heed the lesson. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Austro-Hungarian army, which had itself fared poorly against the more mobile Prussians in 1866, had 12 Railroad Companies, a number that would soon increase.

    More than any other conflict, the Great War has come to be associated with the railroad. Historians have long noted that the mobilization of the immense new mass armies raised logistics and timing to an unprecedented level of importance (a policy that reached its logical conclusion—or reductio ad absurdum—in the "launch on warning" stance during the thermonuclear doomsday scenarios of the Cold War). The late great military historian John Keegan, taking as his point of departure Wellington's observation that "In military operations, time is everything," wrote that space as well as time played a crucial role in the German and Austrian calculations involving railroads and mobilization schedules vis-à-vis Russia. And Stephen Kern devotes an entire chapter of his provocative The Culture of Time and Space 1880-1918 to "The Temporality of the July Crisis," in which both the railroad and the telegraph, as well as more psychological or metaphysical notions of "national" time play a prominent role.

    Second, we are reminded that the Great War did not take place only on the Western Front, whose static "war of position" epitomized by trench warfare has come to define our image of the entire conflict. The fighting in the east, by contrast, was a traditional "war of movement," made possible in part by the bungling as much as the successes of the two sides. The city of Czernowitz, capital of the Bukovina, the easternmost district of Galicia, is said to have changed hands 15 times in the course of the war. The German forces scored great initial successes against the Russians in the north, establishing the fame of Hindenburg. To the south, the Austrians did not fare as well: by the fall of 1914, the Russians had advanced to the hinterlands of Kraków. In December, the Austrians turned the tide, and none too soon. They had lost 1,268,000 killed, wounded, or captured. A year later, at the end of 1915, the combined German and Austrian forces, supported by the Bulgarians, took Belgrade and pushed the Serbs into Albania, but none of the great powers had lost its fighting capacity, and victory was in sight on neither front. As Keegan writes, "The coming year of 1916, all parties recognised, would bring crisis on land, east and west, and at sea also. It would be a year of great battles between armies and fleets."

    The elf on the postcard looks businesslike rather than particularly cheerful, for which he might be excused, given the circumstances.


    A website devoted to the history of a local Austrian railway station lists a certain Hugo Mischek who was involved with railway administration in the vicinity of Olomouc (thus, the home region of the sender of this postcard) but who is then described as having been sent through retirement relocation to Vienna in 1915-15 and in retirement there, 1915-1918. This does not seem to fit the description of a Lieutenant apparently in active service, but one wonders whether there might not be some family connection. A later Hugo Mischek was a leading builder and developer in post-World War II Vienna. The full history behind our little postcard remains to be explored.

    Back to Blogging: Return to (and from) the Lists

    History Victorious
    Bookplate: woodcut by Georg Barlösius (1864-1908) for the Berlin publisher-bookseller Richard Schröder, 1901.
    Woodcut on laid paper; image dimensions 8 x 11 cm.

    For a more extensive description, see the new Tumblr, where I will now be posting large images and short pieces.

    * * *
    2013 was certainly a complex and challenging year. I am happy to see the end of it and hope that 2014 brings better prospects.

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Happy New Year!

    Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral viewed from the southwest: New Year's card, c. 1930

    šťastný Nový rok!
    Boldog Új Évet!
    Prosit Neujahr!
    Happy New Year!

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Why the lack of recent posts: I needed this like a hole in the head

    I must apologize for the recent lack of communication here: to be clear, for my sake, rather than yours (after all, it's not as if I imagine anyone worries or withers away when the posts become fewer and further between).

    It can be difficult to stick to a regular schedule under the best of circumstances, but at the beginning of November (in fact, in the early hours of the first day), I had a little accident. It was just a fluke of a domestic accident, but bad enough to injure my back (that went away after a few days) and bang up my head, fracturing my upper jaw and doing assorted other damage, short- and long-term.

    Of course, my basic cheerful-pessimistic philosophy is: it could always be worse, so: no biggie. I didn't want this, but it's nothing compared with a bullet in the lower jaw during the night, followed by the guillotine in the morning (above). That sort of puts things in perspective.

    My much less serious little episode put me out of commission, in the serious sense, only for a few days, but it has been something of a nuisance, and it will take several months before I can return to full normal. (Not a good thing for a guy who has to speak all the time for his day job, and then again on occasional evenings for our elected political amateur hour.)

    It's hard to say what was the most freakish thing about the accident: the thing itself, or the spooky minor parallels to another one. It was just over a year earlier that our newly appointed Town Manager, John Musante, suffered a (far more serious) head injury while walking his dog, not long before the Snowtober/Snowpocalypse hit. Barely had we dodged the proverbial bullet from Hurricane Sandy this fall when I had my accident, likewise involving a good and innocent dog (though mine was a good deal larger: in fact, weighs more than his veterinarian). Sort of makes you wonder.

    Again, I went into more detail than I cared, only in order to explain the silence.

    Now it's back to normal soon. I hope to have a bunch of Christmas/holiday/New Year posts ready to go in the new future. You have been warned.

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    22 December 1620: Pilgrims Land at Plymouth Rock (and post-Thanksgiving postprandial link dump)

    Well, that's the traditional date, anyway: not necessarily the correct one, and to complicate matters, they were in any case of course still using the Julian ("Old Style") rather than the Gregorian calendar, adopted in Catholic states in 1582 but introduced in Britain and its colonies only in 1752 (don't ask).

    A traditional image of the arrival of the Pilgrims.

    "The First Landing of the Pilgrims, 1620"

    Charles Lucy (1814-73), "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in America, a.d., 1620" (1848): 
    here rendered in an engraving by T. Phillibrown (New York: Martin, Johnson & Co., 1856)

    Lucy's painting has so many historical inaccuracies that it's hard to know where to begin—so I won't. From the costumes, to the numbers and types of persons depicted, and the arrival on Plymouth Rock, it's all just so wrong.

    Only sixteen persons—six crew, 10 passengers—disembarked that day, and all were male. Historians thus reject the tradition according to which thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton was the first to do so. And the dog in the picture? Close, but no cigar. Records indicate that two representatives of the noble species—a mastiff and a spaniel—indeed made the trip aboard the "Mayflower" but were involved in the explorations of the coast only after this now-famous landing.  It is by moreover by no means certain that the "Pilgrims" (who did not call themselves such; they used the term only in the generic sense of the word, for the uppercase appellation did not arise until the 1790s) landed at the site now designated as "Plymouth Rock." No contemporaneous document mentions the (or even a) rock; that derives from third-hand testimony over a century later. And indeed, no one paid much attention to the "Rock" until the eve of the Revolution, when it began a peripatetic career (more like the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert than a pilgrimage): moved around the town, divided into pieces, and eventually returned, at least in part, to the shore, and graced (?) with a late 19th-century classical architectural umbrella).

    About the only thing Lucy got close to right (besides the fact of a landing on the Massachusetts shore) was the color of the clothing. As the painting shows far more clearly than the engraving, he did not depict the Pilgrims clad only in black. Probate inventories show that the Pilgrims had generous and varied wardrobes and had no objection to colored or even decorated clothing. They often favored what were called "sad" colors—meaning deep hues, and not, as a modern reader might erroneously conclude, black and gray. The men here wear shades of brown and russet, and the women, in particular, are depicted as wearing various shades of red and green.

    Okay, I guess I just did begin, but I'll stop. Instead, a retrospective smorgasbord of Thanksgiving stories from around the Web.

    Thanksgiving link dump

    • The usual and obligatory seasonal debunkery (not bad as a popularization) from Buzzfeed

    CNN Thanksgiving by the numbers: lots of them having to do with turkeys: how long it takes to raise, defrost and cook them, how much of one makes a good serving . . . more


    -Langston Hughes (not one of his greats)

    -New Yorker

    Bad Thanksgiving advice columns

    Bad time having Bob Dylan over the Thanksgiving


    -Stars' recipes (what did Marilyn Monroe make?)

    -William Shatner in Deep-Fryer PSA warning (truly bizarre)

    -Two (count 'em!) pieces on the turkey genome:
      -Genome of your turkey
      -Pass the Turkey Genome: Researchers are using genomics to breed a better Thanksgiving bird

    -Why we don't eat turkey eggs

    -Where your turkey comes from (map)

    -Western Massachusetts Turkey Farms

    -Don't Forget The Music: A Well-Seasoned Thanksgiving Soundtrack, from NPR

    -White House menu

    -Dining alone

    A miscellany from the Library of Congress:

    -Washington's Proclamation of October 3, 1789

    -Other Thankgiving  proclamations

     -Vintage photos from LOC (via Mental Floss)

    -Thanksgiving and football

    • And of course, one could not conclude without Art Buchwald's famous attempt to explain Thanksgiving to our French friends (yes, the "Jour de Merci Donnant")

    Art Buchwald, Why We Eat Turkey

    * * *

    This year's previous Thanksgiving stories:

    From the Vaults: Thanksgiving Retrospective (socialists, eels, eating pregnant insects, a shot and a brew, more)

    Those Darned Illegal Immigrants (the Pilgrims)
    Pardon Me! Another Thanksgiving Piece

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    From the Vaults: Thanksgiving Retrospective (socialists, eels, eating pregnant insects, a shot and a brew, more)

    Most years, I've offered some little posts about Thanksgiving and history. This year, rather than scribbling together a new one, I'll just offer a roundup of past musings and amusements.

    • from 2010: "13 December 1621: The 'Fortune' Sails from Plymouth to England (and why the Pilgrims were neither 'socialists' nor 'capitalists')"

    • from 2010: "Thanksgiving Miscellany": mini link dump of music, food, activities

    •  from 2010: "The Annual Thanksgiving History Buffet": What's for dinner: eels and sweet potatoes. And were the Pilgrims dangerous socialists? Come on!

    • from 2009: "Thanksgiving Day": brief note on teaching students about Thanksgiving, and how to contextualize the original event in the larger flow of Colonial history. Plus: links! on holiday traditions, myth and fact.

    • from 2008: "The Inevitable Thanksgiving Piece": food, facts, myths. "The only demonstrably present meats . . .were 'ducks, geese, and venison.'" What Europeans called cranberries were pregnant insects. A shot and a brew: Pilgrims and Native Americans drank a lot and fired guns (not recommended today).

    [this one somehow got put back in the drafts folder]

    Those Darned Illegal Immigrants (the Pilgrims)

    From the office door.

    The traditional tale of the Pilgrims (a name by which they did not refer to themselves) and their arrival in America was a simple one. Nowadays, we would probably start by asking, "what were they thinking?!" i.e. what made them think that they could sail across the ocean and just establish themselves on a distant land to which they had no historical connection and that was already inhabited by others? The answer from their point of view was at the time just as simple and self-evident as ours. The historian's craft (to cite the title of Marc Bloch's classic work) consists in attempting to bring the two together.

    Since the issue of immigration and immigration reform remains topical (not least in light of the apparent coalescence of a new Democratic coalition), here is a selection of cartoons chronicling the appearance of this theme in Thanksgiving and related humor of recent years.

    it all started with Columbus