Home » Society and Culture » Holidays

Will The First Thanksgiving Please Stand Up?

Aug 18, 2007
Sages throughout the ages would tell us that the best place to start anything would be at the beginning. That always seems like a logical way to do things. However, what do you do when something has three beginnings?

In trying to determine the actual first Thanksgiving, one must recognize that the history of our country, started in three places around the same time. Spanish travelers in the West, French and Spanish travelers in the South, and English Puritans all laid claim to different parts of this country without being aware the others were present. That leaves us with not one but three thanksgivings.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

The Thanksgiving most Americans are familiar with happened in 1621 at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims, a group of English Puritans who sailed for America to embrace religious freedom, had a feast to thank Squanto, their Indian translator and guide. At that celebration, both Native Americans and Pilgrims celebrated their ability to work together, raise crops and enable the Pilgrims to live in the new land by sharing a meal and giving God their thanks. As historians looked backwards seeking an appropriate event on which to base a uniquely American holiday, the historical records of this event seemed to fit the bill, even though a prayer of Thanksgiving had been offered in Jamestown, VA two years previously. Because it encompassed the spirit of faithfulness and unity holiday makers wanted to celebrate, this Puritan first was proclaimed the "First Thanksgiving".

El Paso, Texas

Almost 50 years before the Pilgrims gave thanks in Plymouth a prayer of Thanksgiving in celebration happened on the banks of the Rio Grande. Residents of El Paso, Texas will tell you that they live in the place of the first true Thanksgiving.

Travelers and explorers accompanying Don Juan de Onate found the Rio Grande Valley in 1598 and declared it El Paso del Rio, del Norte - the pass of the river of the North. According to Spanish records Onate, and his accompanying group, had a feast with the indigenous cultures of the area and created the first Thanksgiving. This festival was not founded on food, although traditional tortillas and chilis were probably present, but founded on a Catholic celebration of Onate's conquest in the New World. On the last Sunday of the month of April El Pasoans gather at the Chamizal Memorial Park to reenact the first Thanksgiving.

St. Augustine, Florida

While New England continues to suggest to their thanksgiving is the first and El Pasoans celebrate their festival with assurance, a third entry into the Thanksgiving race predates them both. In 1564 French Huguenot colonists who were fur traders, combined with Spanish explorers to found St. Augustine Florida, a small colonial settlement near Jacksonville. These two groups coming together, and inviting first nation tribes to share a meal with them is also a first Thanksgiving. The meal didn't feature turkey, bread or corn and was more likely made of salty pork, biscuits and garbanzo beans. However, in terms of time, this gathering of thankful nations truly was the first American Thanksgiving.

The debate over Thanksgiving rages on, with all three parts of the country stipulating their thanksgiving is the most valid one. But for most people, any time you can stop working, share food and be thankful is a time worth honoring
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 190
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources