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Vol. 3, No. 11 | November 2011

 

 

 

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A History of Thanksgiving
How Early Setllers, Explorers Celebrated

US MED Gives BackAt the University of Florida, historians argue that the earliest attested thanksgiving celebration, in what became the U.S., was celebrated by the Spanish on Sept. 8, 1565 in what is now St. Augustine, Fla.

Some historians say the first celebration in the U.S. was in Virginia. Thanksgiving services were held there as early as 1607.

A day of thanksgiving was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619. Others say the first Thanksgiving was on Berkeley Plantation on the James River in 1609.

According to the History Network, the first celebration in the New World may have been at San Elizario, near the present-day city of El Paso. In 1598, it was celebrated by a weary group of Spanish explorers, led by Juan de Onate, who had just completed a long trek across the Mexican desert to the banks of the Rio Grande River.

The traditional story of Thanksgiving focuses on the Pilgrims at Plymouth in their first small harvest in the autumn of 1621. Their numbers diminished by half, 53 Pilgrims celebrated their modest harvest with a company of 90 indians. Both Pilgrims and indians had suffered mightily during the previous winter of disease and starvation.

At the end of the day the idea is still the same. Giving thanks for our bountiful harvest, our health and each other. And today, we at USMED, want to also give thanks for you. We want to extend an extra special Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. May you enjoy your time together, in good health and happiness.

 

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