The First Thanksgivings
The first thanksgiving in the present-day United States on September, 8 1565. Spaniard Pedro Menéndez de Avilés ordered a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the safe arrival of his army and civilians to what would become Saint Augustine, Florida.
The first annual thanksgiving celebration was in Jamestown, Virginia Colony. The safe arrival of colonist in December was celebrated by the proclamation "We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god."
The most famous thanksgiving was a harvest festival celebrated by fifty Puritans and ninety Indians. The New England cultural and historical dominance of the American epic early on ensured that this story would be the founding for the Thanksgiving "myth" in the United States.
Thanksgivings became periodic celebrations later on in history. Various presidents would issue a proclamation giving thanks while other would not. The first president to issue an United States thanksgiving was Washington. In 1863 the tide of the Civil War was turning and President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday which fell on the last Thursday of November. The holiday was moved to the fourth Thursday of November during the Great Depression in order to expand the Christmas shopping season. Capitalism and God: It has got to be America!
The only other country in the world to officially celebrate a thanksgiving is Canada. Since 1957 the reason has been "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed" but before that each year had its own individual reason. The first Thanksgiving in Canada was in 1578 when Martin Frobisher held a one in Newfoundland to give thanks for a safe arrival. Cross pollination has occurred from the colonial times and continues today. The turkey is a mainstay in both Thanksgivings.
Well, that ends the brief geohistory of Thanksgiving. Here is Catholicgauze's List:
- Family who has always been there for me
- God who allowed me to know my father
- Fellow geographers both in the real world and online: you guys enrich the world
- Friends who have been there for me