Virginia is Home to First Thanksgiving
How many of us learned in elementary school that the First Thanksgiving was held at Plymouth Rock by the pilgrims? We were lied to!
As Virginians we should be insulted! The real First Thanksgiving was held right here in "the Old Dominion" on the banks of the James River at Berkeley Plantation (back then it was Berkeley Hundred, there was no plantation yet). On December 4th, 1916 a group of settlers led by Captain John Woodlief held a prayer on their new settlement thanking God for safe passage and had a meal of ham, oysters, and remaining rations from the ship. Captain Woodlief declared that this day would be celebrated annually as a holy day of "Thanksgiving to Almighty God". This event has been debated among historians since the 1930s when originally discovered in one of the Berkeley settlers' private papers.
Today, you can visit Berkeley Plantation just east of Hopewell for the first weekend in November and be a part of the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival!
This year, I'm serving ham and oysters instead of turkey to honor those brave men and women who landed at Berkeley Hundred and settled there. Will you?