Historian Michael Gannon tells Historic City News that the REAL first Thanksgiving took place in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565, some 56 years before the legendary meal in Massachusetts; despite the fact that school children everywhere are dusting off their Pilgrim costumes this week.
Florida school children, in particular, should really be researching the attire of Spanish soldiers and Timucuan Indians, according to Gannon.
“These school children should be asking grandma to help them find garbanzo beans and chorizo sausage for their communal school meal”, Gannon says. “Instead of asking for turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce”, thought to be part of the famous Plymouth meal.
The meal, shared by Spanish soldiers and natives of the Seloy tribe, was a celebration of the safe arrival of the Spanish expedition of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.
Dr. Gannon’s claims have earned him the moniker “The Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving” in New England circles.
Robyn Gioia, is a Ponte Vedra Beach teacher that is also trying to srt the record straight. She has published a children’s book, “America’s REAL First Thanksgiving”, after attending Florida Humanities Council’s Colonial St. Augustine summer seminar for teachers.
Gioia recommends others to attend Florida Humanities Council’s popular St. Augustine seminar at their next session in the summer of 2010.