To you and yours- I hope that yours has been a day of peace, love, and bounty- and seconds on the turkey. And while you are seeing pilgrims, and Plymouth Rocks, and things New English- a gentle reminder.
The FIRST Thanksgiving in what is now America was not in New England, it did not involve the Pilgrims, and it was not in November.
It was in Charles City County VA, on the banks of the James River, about 20 miles from Jamestown. It was on 4 December, 1619. Please note- the Pilgrims did not invite the neighbors over for a pot-luck dinner until 1621.
The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving" to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. The Charter of Berkeley Plantation specified the thanksgiving service: "Wee 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."
BTW, this was acknowledged as the First Thanksgiving by a noted New Englander- President John Kennedy.
If you find yourself in Virginia, between Williamsburg and Richmond, on a warm Spring Day- or a cold December one for that matter- stop by for a tour. Berkeley was also the home of 2 US Presidents, the spot where the bugle call Taps originated, and the location of the first Bourbon distillery in the world.
We now return you to your previously scheduled pumpkin pie.....