Ditch the turkey: the USA’s first Thanksgiving was a Spanish affair

As Americans across the United States recover from another year of Thanksgiving, new research shows that the first people to mark the celebration may have actually been Spaniards and that they may have done so on a different date.

Time to ditch the turkey?

Time to ditch the turkey? Image by Jeffrey Remick / CC BY 2.0

Until now it was thought that English pilgrims who landed in America on the Mayflower boat in 1621 were the first people to celebrate Thanksgiving, but Florida’s Museum of Natural History has discovered evidence that a Thanksgiving mass, followed by a feast, was held in Florida by a Spanish explorer more than 50 years earlier, in 1565.

Rather than turkey, the explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, his troops and the local native people that were invited feasted on typical Spanish foods including salted pork, red wine, olives and chickpeas.

Read more: thelocal.es

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