…and they served bean soup not turkey, and it was Catholic. Go here to learn more. Robin Gioia has written a kids book about the early Spanish settlers dining with the native Americans…
Gioia, who serves her own family bean soup on the Sept. 8 anniversary, has her work cut out for her elsewhere, however. Even on the site where Menendez’s Thanksgiving feast is believed to have been held.
“I always thought the first Thanksgiving was at Plymouth Rock,” says Betty McDaniel, a gift-shop clerk at the Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, which sits next door to Nombre de Dios Mission, where Menendez landed and celebrated with the natives after a Catholic Mass.
John Fraser owns the “Fountain of Youth” attraction and calls the where-was-the-first-Thanksgiving brouhaha “a ticklish issue.”
“The people from the North just wouldn’t believe it,” he says when the idea of a Spanish Thanksgiving first surfaced in the press. “They just couldn’t get it through their heads.”
Ever scholarly Taylor Marshall has more about the Catholic origins of Thanksgiving here…including the fact that Squanto–the native American who negotiated with the Puritans was Catholic. Read his article here.
Finally, here is my earlier posted article on the Theology of Thanksgiving.