America's Real First Thanksgiving

America's Real First Thanksgiving

by Robyn Gioia
     
 

When most Americans think of the first Thanksgiving, they think of the Pilgrims and the Indians in New England in 1621. But fifty-six years before the Pilgrims celebrated, Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez arrived on the coast of Florida and founded the first North American city, St. Augustine.

On September 8, 1565, the Spanish and the native Timucua celebrated

Overview

When most Americans think of the first Thanksgiving, they think of the Pilgrims and the Indians in New England in 1621. But fifty-six years before the Pilgrims celebrated, Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez arrived on the coast of Florida and founded the first North American city, St. Augustine.

On September 8, 1565, the Spanish and the native Timucua celebrated with a feast of Thanksgiving. The Spanish most likely offered cocido, a rich stew made with pork, garbanzo beans, and onions. Perhaps the Timucua provided wild turkey or venison, or even alligator or tortoise, along with corn, beans, and squash.

Learn about our real first Thanksgiving. Learn about Spain and Florida in the 1560s. And make your own cocido from a recipe provided in this important and groundbreaking book.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leila Toledo
In school most of us were taught that the first Thanksgiving was held in Plymouth MA in 1621. Research reveals that St. Augustine celebrated his first Thanksgiving with Timucua Indians fifty-six years earlier on September 8, 1565. At the Thanksgiving meal the Spanish and the native Americans shared their specialties. The recipe for Cocido—a Spanish stew of pork, garbanzo beans, and onions—is included. It is a dish worth trying. The Timucua may have offered turkey or venison and corn. There was also a chaplain present who offered a mass of Thanksgiving with a cross present. The Timucua who witnessed this followed by imitating what the Spanish did. One of the major features of the book is a look at the world as it was in 1565 and the lives of the Timucua prior the arrival of the Spaniards. This is followed by the role of the Spaniards in the founding of St. Augustine and their influence on the Timucua. The first true Thanksgiving is an eye opener and a welcome event which corrects an episode of American history.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6
Which state claims the first Thanksgiving? Massachusetts may come to mind, but Texas, Maine, Florida, and Virginia all have historical evidence of similar celebrations that predate the Pilgrims' gathering. This account describes the meeting of Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and Native people called the Timucua near what became St. Augustine, in 1565. According to the author, in gratitude to God "for a safe journey and a new land," the explorer "provided a Thanksgiving feast for the Spanish, with the Timucua as guests." In order to lend context, chapter topics include a summary of the world in 1565, a discussion of uncharted lands, Spain in the 1560s, Florida in the 1560s, a description of the Timucuan way of life, the founding of St. Augustine, events on the day of Thanksgiving, and St. Augustine today. Period maps, paintings, photographs of artifacts, and original watercolor illustrations help explain the historical concepts. While many of the period works are informative, the original paintings bear an unfortunate resemblance to coloring-book pages. One illustration caption identifies a Native couple as a king and queen, although it is questionable that the Timucua themselves would have used that terminology. This book is well intentioned and extremely earnest about bringing attention to this seldom-explored historical topic. It might be of interest to people studying Florida history or visiting St. Augustine.
—Lucinda Snyder WhitehurstCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561643899
Publisher:
Pineapple Press, Inc.
Publication date:
03/15/2007
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Robyn Gioia teaches full-time and has been active in children's literature since joining an eclectic group of writers during a three-year stay in England. She is a former board member of the Florida Writers Association and has been a judge for several national contests. She reviews children's books for the School Library Journal and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her middle-grade novel, Rinny and the Trail of Clues (under the name Robyn Leslie), has won several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Best New Children's Voice.

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