Who Was The Real Pocahontas?
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All thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies know the feeling. The feeling of falling where your body suddenly feels weightless and your stomach drops into your shoes. Whether you are riding a roller coaster or going over a big speed bump, the feeling of falling is the same. But what causes the feeling of your stomach dropping? In short, your stomach is literally dropping.
Gravity is a natural force that brings to objects closer together. We experience gravity when it pushes our bodies against something else like a chair or the ground. When there is nothing to push back on us, like when we are falling, we experience the feeling of weightlessness as our body is suspended in air before coming back to the ground.
The feeling of your stomach dropping comes from your body falling back toward the ground. While most of our internal organs are secured in place, our intestines and stomach are more loosely connected to our torsos. Since they aren’t tied down, there is room for the organs to move within your abdomen. When we fall, our intestines and stomach move around in our bellies and the movement of our internal organs in relation to the rest of our body causes the feeling of your stomach dropping.
Next time you find your self coming over the peak of a roller coaster ride, realize that the exhilarating feeling you are experiencing is caused by all your insides sloshing around in your body. Don’t worry, they will all fall back into place eventually.
This week marks the start of the 2019 MLB World Series which will be the 115th time that the American League and the National League have competed to crown a champion. The MLB is made up of mostly teams from the U.S. as well as one team from Toronto which makes you wonder… Why is the championship called the World Series when the whole world doesn’t get to participate?
Many believe that the World Series got its name because it includes teams made up from the best players around the world, which is true, but not the origin of the name. Others believe that the name stems from the original contest which was sponsored by the New York World Newspaper. Allegedly, the New York World sponsored the first championship series and named it after themselves (kind of like the Sprint Cup in NASCAR or the FedEx Cup in Golf). Although that is a convenient explanation, it sadly isn’t true. The New York World was not affiliated with the first World Series in anyway.
In truth, the title World Series came to be gradually over many years. Starting in the late 1800’s, the well established National League began playing scrimmages against professional teams in other baseball leagues. The National leagues biggest competitor was the upstart American League. The two leagues played a number of matches against each other in order to see which was the better league.
Fans of the National league had their champion and fans of the American league had their champion, so they decided to unify their titles to see who was the world’s champion (aka a champion for everyone). Regardless of which league you are a fan of, the superiority of the series winner was undeniable and everyone around the world would know that the winners were the one true champions. Slowly, the matchup, which was known as the World’s Championship series, evolved into the World Series and starting in 1903, the winner of the series what known as the world champion.
If you want to be technical about it, the World Baseball Classic pits the countries of the world against each other to crown a World Champion. But all those teams would most likely lose to one MLB team, so they really aren’t the best teams in the world but rather the best country at playing baseball.
Have you every heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Can you sing with all the colors of the wind? Maybe not, but Disney princess and all around badass Pocahontas can. The 1995 animated film depicted the story of Pocahontas, a Native American woman, and English settler John Smith interacting with wildlife and falling in love but the true story of these two is nothing like Disney made it out to be.
Pocahontas was a real person who was the daughter of the chief of the Powhatan tribe that live in modern day Virginia. John Smith was an English settler who traveled to Jamestown, Virginia and wrote a best-selling book about his experiences and adventures. That is pretty much where the similarities between the Disney movie and real-life end.
In 1607, John Smith travelled to Jamestown and encountered the Powhatan tribe. According to his book, (which was largely proven to be untrue and embellished for dramatic effect) John Smith was “captured” by the Powhatan tribe and negotiated his way into dining with the chief. In his original story, Smith mentioned nothing of Pocahontas, who was just 10 years old at the time, and instead focused on the feast the tribe prepared for him. Years later, Smith embellished his original story of being the Powhatan’s captive to make it more entertaining and dramatic. In a letter to the Queen of Denmark Smith explained that the savage natives were about to execute him for being a stranger until the young Pocahontas came to his rescue and saved his life. He continued to embellish and expand his story until he made Pocahontas into fictional heroine that captivated the imaginations of European readers.
Unfortunately, Pocahontas didn’t have the exciting fictional life that John Smith invented for her. Instead, she suffered through most of her young adulthood and died young. In 1613, during a period of hostility between the English and Powhatan, the English destroyed her village, captured Pocahontas (age 16), and kept her hostage. She was then compelled to convert to Christianity and had her name changed to Rebecca against her will. In 1614, she was married off to a Tobacco farmer named John Rolfe and had a son named Thomas.
Pocahontas, now called Rebecca Rolfe, was brought to London and shown off as an exhibit of a “Civilized Savage”. The settlers of the Jamestown colony used her as a spokesperson to try and drum up more investment money for the colony. Although she was paraded around as a sideshow, she was at least treated fairly well and lived the comfortable life of high society.
Pocahontas died at the age of 21 from unknown causes. In her short life she had witnessed the destruction of her tribe, got kidnapped, forced to change religions, shipped off to a new country, paraded around as a side show, then finally buried in an unmarked grave. Pocahontas’ is a tragic story but despite the facts, Disney still managed to turn her life into a children’s story where the Native American falls in love the friendly English settler. Kinda the opposite of what really happened.
This Week in History
On this week in 1962, an international nuclear standoff occurred in what is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the height of American-Soviet Cold War, American spy planes discovered Soviet missile sites being constructed on the Caribbean island of Cuba. The Soviet missiles were pointed toward the U.S. and posed a huge threat to American safety. President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of the island of Cuba in order to stop more weapons getting into enemy hands. For four days, the U.S. and U.S.S.R were locked in a deadly stalemate, threatening total annihilation and nuclear war. Fortunately, diplomacy won the day and the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.
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