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By Owen J. Hurd

Offers fascinating anecdotes of recognized american citizens, together with Paul Revere, Richard Nixon and Eliot Ness.

summary: provides fascinating anecdotes of well-known americans, together with Paul Revere, Richard Nixon and Eliot Ness

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Additional info for After the fact : the surprising fates of American history's heroes, villains, and supporting characters

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Those who wished to return were outvoted by Hudson and a clique of loyal sailors who decided to stay put, assuming the weather there would not be too much worse than an English winter. That was their second mistake. The first mistake was putting it to a vote. Hudson may have believed that the crew would be more likely to accept the outcome if they had a say in it. Instead, it broadened existing divisions between two camps, hardening the resolve of those who were determined to overthrow the captain.

Smith spent the rest of his life writing about his adventures and trying to drum up support for further explorations of the region. He never did make it back. On his last attempt, the ship he was commanding was twice attacked by pirates. They fought off the first attackers, and Smith negotiated his way out of the second attack. But while on board the enemy ship, his crew decided against following Smith to America. They ditched him and sailed back to England. Imprisoned on the French ship Don de Dieu for four months, Smith wrote the bulk of his book A Description of New England (thereby coining the term still used to describe the region).

Considering the hardships endured up until then—half of the one hundred colonists had died since their arrival the previous year—it would have been almost profane to let this newfound abundance go unacknowledged. With preparations for a feast under way, ninety Pokanoket Indians arrived at the colony. Unexpected and uninvited, they were welcomed just the same. Indian hunters contributed five deer to supplement the stews of raccoon, bear, ducks, geese, and maybe turkeys. The first Thanksgiving might not have included the now-traditional roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, but every year we still honor the essential principles of gratitude, goodwill, and friendship that were in such healthy supply that fall in 1621.

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