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Mizzou Mail

Extending the reach 

Feedback from the Fall 2010 coverage of the Golden Girls’ tryout continued with reaction to Winter 2011’s letters from readers. George Fisher, BS BA ’76, of Plano, Texas, wrote: “I have not heard one negative comment on this issue. I found it to be tasteful, informative, interesting and not in the least ‘inappropriate.’ I hope MIZZOU continues to provide insight into campus life today.”

With the Winter 2011 issue, MIZZOU was mailed to international alumni for the first time. Circulation expanded by 2,651 households. “This is the first time I have received our alumni magazine since I graduated in 1972,” writes Boonchua Thinnakorn, MS ’72, of Bangkok, Thailand. He noted his delight in hearing about the Tigers’ victory over Oklahoma in October 2010. Tiger fans across the globe savored the Homecoming game success with you, Boonchua! Also, this in from Jaime Apablaza, PhD ’76, of Santiago, Chile: “Truly, we have always felt like members of the MIZZOU family.”

We welcome reactions from our readers, near and far. Keep reading, and keep writing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – MIZZOU magazine staff

Not wild about new street name

I don’t know if I am in the minority, but I think the renaming of Maryland Avenue to Tiger Avenue [“A road well traveled,” Winter 2011] is completely ridiculous and unnecessary. What’s next? Are you going to rename Virginia Avenue “Roar Boulevard” because it’s named after another state? Is Providence Road going to get a new moniker because it makes people think of Rhode Island as they pass Faurot Field?

I liked the fact that Missouri honored people and places on its campus. But street names such as “College,” “Tiger” and “University” might as well be in Auburn, Ala., or Clemson, S.C., or Baton Rouge, La. Why not rename the street after a native Missourian such as Walt Disney, who isn’t already honored on campus, if you’re so keen on changing the name?

The last time I was in Columbia, I was amazed at how much had changed in the eight years I had been gone. Some of it was good, but dumping Maryland Avenue’s name was just plain dumb.

                                                                         – Francie Williamson, BJ ’00, West Branch, Iowa

Appalled at Thanksgiving ‘myth’

I was appalled at your article in the latest MIZZOU magazine [“Hungry for knowledge,” Winter 2011], highlighting instructor LuAnne Roth saying the Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrating a Thanksgiving feast together is a myth. She seemed to be saying that not only is the notion of them eating turkey together a myth but also the entire premise of the two groups working with each other in early America and uniting in celebration
of that fact.

I beg to differ with Ms. Roth; there is plenty of historical evidence of these two groups working and eating together in early America, e.g. the Pilgrims and Squanto, Samoset. Most historians refer to an October 1621 event for communal gathering images (at which there were at least 90 Native Americans attending with the Pilgrims), which can be found in Of Plimoth Plantation and Mourt’s Relation by William Bradford. However, many consider the first Thanksgiving to be the gathering after the harvest crops in November 1623 when Gov. Bradford said, “All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill ... there to listen to the pastor, and render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” 

It is this type of revisionist history that has polluted many universities across this country, and I am distressed to say, even mine.

                                                          – Poppy Thurman Daniels, BS ’94, MD ’98 Poplar Bluff, Mo.


LuAnne Roth responds: It is disheartening to learn that the story about Pilgrims and Indians sharing a Thanksgiving feast is a myth. Edward Winslow’s Dec. 11, 1621, letter to acquaintances in the Old World does describe a harvest feast with 90 Wampanoag, often cited as the “First Thanksgiving.” The letter was found and published in 1841 with a footnote: “This was the first Thanksgiving, the harvest festival of New England. On this occasion they no doubt feasted on the wild turkey as well as venison.” However, Winslow did not call the meal a thanksgiving, during which pious Pilgrims would have prayed, not feasted. Records confirm that William Bradford declared a day of thanksgiving in 1623, but there was no feasting, and his reference to Indians thanks God for protecting Pilgrims “from the ravages of the savages.” Historians consider the story a myth encapsulating American beliefs. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving offers much to celebrate, including harvest, togetherness and delicious food.


More revisionist history?

I read with interest LuAnne Roth’s response to the letter of Poppy Thurman Daniels in the Spring 2011 MIZZOU magazine. As time marches on we read more and more revisionist history accounts of our nation’s early beginning. Three cheers for Poppy! I too am one who tires of those who would overlook the obvious and thoroughly documented history of our nation in order to promote their biases. The information available greatly, unbelievably outweighs the path of Ms. Roth.

 — Brad Russell, BA ’76, Columbia

Remembering Allan Purdy

I received my issue of MIZZOU magazine and read that Alan Purdy died on Oct. 14, 2010. He came to MU and earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1938. I remember Allan well. He was a brilliant student. Dean Sam Shirky realized his intelligence and kept Allan in the administrative office for many years. Allan made E’s in every class. I enjoy MIZZOU. 

— Monroe Stewart, BS Ag ’37, Monroe, La.