As the country celebrates the annual holiday of giving thanks, History.com released a slew of interesting facts that Americans may not know about the historical holiday. Here are some of the common misconceptions that historians have debunked and debated about Thanksgiving. Read the article from History.com, “Thanksgiving history facts and trivia,” below:
Where was the first Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving may have occurred in Florida, not Massachusetts. According to History.com: “In 1565, nearly 65 years before Plymouth, a Spanish fleet came ashore and planted a cross in the sandy beach to christen the new settlement of St. Augustine. To celebrate the arrival, the 800 Spanish settlers shared a meal with the native Timucuan people.”
What did they eat the first Thanksgiving?
Historians say the menu drastically differs to the one contemporary Americans enjoy today. According to History.com: “Although turkeys were indigenous, there’s no record of a big, roasted bird at the feast. The Wampanoag brought deer and there would have been lots of local seafood (mussels, lobster, bass) plus the fruits of the first pilgrim harvest, including pumpkin. No mashed potatoes, though. Potatoes had only been recently shipped back to Europe from South America.”
When did America first call for a national Thanksgiving?
While there had been notions to make it a formal event in the past, History.com reports: “In 1789, when George Washington called again for national day of thanks on the last Thursday of November in 1777 to commemorate the end of the Revolutionary War and the ratification of the Constitution.