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Pat Shingleton: "Thank-you..."

4 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, November 24 2016 Nov 24, 2016 November 24, 2016 4:15 AM November 24, 2016 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

The decision to land on the shores of Massachusetts was dictated by the weather. The small 180-ton ship was sailing near the southeastern tip of Cape Cod on November 19, 1620, expecting to hold its course and land in New York Harbor. With high winds and waves, the crew plotted another course, turning northward, picking up southerly winds and finding smoother sailing after rounding the northern tip of the Cape into the protected waters of the bay. The Mayflower dropped anchor in the morning of the 21st in Provincetown Harbor after 65 days at sea. The winter of 1620-1621 was "a calm winter, such as was never seen here since" wrote Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay. Details as to subsequent winters during the first decade of settlement at Plymouth are sketchy.  Journals that were returned to England may have been slanted toward favorable weather conditions, possibly designed to not only please sponsors, but to persuade other settlers to come to America. Almost half of the original passengers and crew of the Mayflower encountered disease during the first winter on the shores of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bay. Many stayed on the Mayflower, anchored a mile offshore and weather permitting, went ashore each day to build adequate shelters.  As for the Thanksgiving menu, the Pilgrims may have enjoyed: wild fowl, venison, seal, wheat flour, Indian corn, pumpkin, peas, beans, onions lettuce, radishes, carrots, plums, grapes, chestnuts, and acorns. Seasonings were liverwort, leeks, dried currants, and parsnips. Finally, “The Great Thanksgiving Storm” was recognized as the deepest in Ohio’s history. The state reported ten inches of snow while the eastern half was buried under 30 inches.  On Friday, November 24th, temperatures plummeted to zero and the following day, blizzard conditions prevailed.  The Ohio State-Michigan football game was scheduled in Columbus with the Big-Ten championship on the line. Once the tarp was removed - snow fell and with 82,000 tickets sold just 50,503 stayed below the bleachers until kickoff. Toilets were frozen, frozen mouthpieces stopped the band, players wore long underwear and after the game Ohio’s coach, Wes Fesler, resigned after losing 9 to 3 and Woody Hayes was hired.  Baton Rouge’s own – Mike Sause, his brothers Kit and Bill were at the game with their dad, sitting next to Woody.

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