So you think that Thanksgiving is a November holiday started in Plymouth Rock and celebrated with turkey and mash potatoes? Well, according to Adam Putnam, Florida's Agriculture Commissioner, you're wrong.
Putnam claims that Thanksgiving really originated right here in Florida more than 50 years before the Plymouth Rock affair. Apparently the "real" Thanksgiving is this Sunday. Hope you have time to prepare.
Putnam celebrated the holiday at an elementary school in Tampa yesterday. He claims the first real Thanksgiving took place in St. Augustine on September 8, 1565.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more info on the meal:
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If you want to know about the real first Thanksgiving on American soil, travel 1,200 miles south and more than 50 years earlier to a grassy spot on the Matanzas River in North Florida.
This is where Spanish Adm. Pedro Menendez de Aviles came ashore on Sept. 8, 1565. This is where he, 500 soldiers, 200 sailors, 100 civilian families and artisans, and the Timucuan Indians who occupied the village of Seloy gathered at a makeshift altar and said the first Christian Mass. And afterward, this is where they held the first Thanksgiving feast.
So what should you prepare for your actual Thanksgiving feast? Apparently things like traditional Spanish stew, roasted squash, orange slices, whole grain biscuits and milk. That's what Putnam celebrated with, though others claim the meal also included pork, clams, oysters and garbanzo beans.
However, there are no plans to make it an official state-recognized holiday. Putnam used the event to promote both the Viva Florida 500 commemoration of the 500 years since Florida was first discovered by Spanish explorers and to promote local agriculture.