In 1846, The Donner Party, a group of American Pioneers, set out to settle in California. After taking a dangerous shortcut, they ended up getting stuck in a snow storm and resorted to cannibalism to survive. While it is an incredibly dark moment in history, The Donner Party was also way more popular and better than a different party: your birthday party.

The Donner Party was basically a potluck.

The Donner Party consisted of over 500 wagons and several families. Because a rescue mission months later discovered few survivors, we know that most of the party-goers contributed food—in the form of their own flesh. Essentially, by showing up for the trip, they were bringing a hot dish. Meanwhile, at your party, no one bothered to even pick up nacho cheese. And you texted the group chat, like, six times. Sure, someone in the Donner Party probably had to eat one of their family members, but you had to eat leftover Indian food from your weird coworker, Denise.

They didn’t have to plan their own party.

The Donner-Reed family planned the cross-country trek as a collective unit. They were careful to prepare covered wagons, rations, and campsite materials. At your birthday party, the only person who brought anything was Denise and your ex-boyfriend, Jared, who brought his new girlfriend. That's awkward. Also, you planned your own party because no one would help. And we all know that buying your own balloons is much more embarrassing than eating your cousin to survive.

The Donner Party lasted from May to November.

In the time it took to get from Missouri to California, cutting through Hastings Cutoff, the Donner Party probably had enough time to get really heated up. Up until getting stranded in Sierra Nevada and shooting sickly travelers for sustenance, it was probably pretty fun. On the other hand, your party didn’t get good until 11 pm and everyone left by 2 am because of work the next day. You were asleep, mostly sober, by yourself, by 3 am. Every historian can agree: that blows.

Someone definitely hooked up in the wagon train.

There were multiple families in the Donner Party meaning that, while not verified, there was probably a lot of inter-mingling in the downtime between building campsites and eating the dead. That’s pretty hot! At your birthday, you walked in on Jared hooking up with his new girlfriend in the guest bathroom. Later, the two of them pretended it had never happened and you pretended that it was okay that Jared’s girlfriend even came in the first place. In fact, you would’ve asked her to leave, but only 7 people showed up and you needed an even number to play beer pong. The Donner Party is starting to sound a lot less depressing now, isn’t it?

There was way less drama.

The Donner Party experienced a journey unlike anything else in the history of mankind. The best part is, they did the whole thing without fake crying or vlogging once. Meanwhile, in the kitchen of your cramped apartment that you’ve never cleaned, Jared’s girlfriend complained that she was “starving” for an hour before eating three jalapeno poppers and posting a video of herself “spilling tea” about how lame your party was on Instagram. At least the Donner Party followed through and, like, actually starved.

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