Nov 212010

If you live anywhere near Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts, you may wish to stop reading right now…

For the benefit of our many non-US readers, Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts is commonly cited as the “birthplace of Thanksgiving”. The first  Thanksgiving is said to have been held there way back in 1621.

Well, has Geo-Mexico got news for you

Several years ago, Don Adams and Teresa Kendrick wrote a compelling account of how the very first Thanksgiving celebration held by Europeans in North America was actually held on April 30, 1598.This is fully 23 years earlier than Plimoth Plantation.

From our Geo-Mexico perspective, even more important is the fact that they provide ample evidence to prove that this very first Thanksgiving was not held in the USA at all, but actually took place  in New Spain (Mexico)! So, Thanksgiving is actually of Mexican origin. Before we know it, the USA will be claiming tacos, tequila, and mariachis as well…

Incidentally, one curious feature of the original 1598 feast is that it apparently did not include either turkey or potatoes! We will continue this mini-series on the geography of Thanksgiving next time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico is your handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography. If you have enjoyed this post, please consider gifting a copy of Geo-Mexico to your friends in the coming holiday season.

  6 Responses to “Thanksgiving originated in Mexico, not in the USA!”

  1. cite your references or authorities

  2. Thanks for your request. For all references, please scroll to the foot of the article by Adams and Kendrick (after following the live link provided near the start of the post).

  3. Just to set the record straight, the first Thanksgiving in North America was NEITHER American nor Mexican, it was held in Canada, 1578, a full 20-years before your cited celebration. It was hosted by a European explorer named Martin Frobisher, who pulled together an impromptu harvest feast upon reaching Newfoundland. And, fyi, I am an American, but one who prefers to set the record straight when possible. Be that as it may, it is good to know that all of North America, Canada, the US, and Mexico, takes a day to give thanks for their blessings.

  4. Interesting! Thanks for your information and update to the post. Can you point us towards the historical sources that back-up the claim that Frobisher’s celebrations were the earliest? Both Frobisher’s celebration and that of Don Juan de Oñate were really in response to homecoming/end of travel, rather than in the harvest festival tradition that eventually took over.

  5. Most probable is that the first Thanksgiving by Europeans in North America must have been Christopher Columbus and crew after they found land in la Española. They probably, landed, gathered food and sat to eat giving thanks for having reached what they thought was India.

    As for the first Thanksgiving in America (the contintent) was probably way before Columbus, when the Native Americans (Sioux, Maya, Aztec, Inca, Tainos, etc, etc…) would make a feast to thank their gods for life, family, sunset, love and food!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

  6. 1541 – Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, led thanksgiving communion celebration at the Palo Duro Canyon, West Texas.
    1565 – Pedro Menendez de Aviles and 800 settlers gathered for a meal with the Timucuan Indians in the Spnaish colony of St Augustine, Florida.

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