November 27, 2008

Original Thanksgiving site up for debate

Residents in Florida, Texas and Virginia are among the groups saying their state was the site of the first true Thanksgiving feast.

While the traditional U.S. belief regarding the historical pilgrim meal places it in Plymouth, Mass., residents of places such as Charles City, Va., beg to disagree, the Cleveland Plain Dealer said Thursday.

We know that we're the first official Thanksgiving, Tammy Radcliff, the office manager of Charles City's Berkeley Plantation, said. We know, yes we do.

Charles City historians claim that while Plymouth Rock dates its Thanksgiving feast back to 1621, the Virginia site enjoyed a similar celebration on Dec. 4, 1619.

Meanwhile, Grace Sanchez of the El Paso Mission Trail Association in Texas, is offering evidence she says proves her state enjoyed the first Thanksgiving in 1598.

The Plain Dealer said the Texas theory revolves around Spanish explorer Juan de Onate and his expedition's celebratory meal upon finding the Rio Grande.

The newspaper said Florida has also thrown its hat into the ring, saying Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles was behind the first Thanksgiving celebration on Sept. 8, 1565, after arriving in the southern state.