The "First Thanksgiving" in America was celebrated near Jacksonville, Florida in 1564. The Second Thanksgiving was celebrated in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. These Thanksgivings occurred many years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts!
In the year 1564, near present day Jacksonville, Captain René de Laudonnière, a French Huguenot (Protestant), held a Thanksgiving Feast at Fort Caroline, Florida. He wrote, "We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please His Grace to continue His accustomed goodness toward us."
About one year later, in 1565, the Spaniard Pedro Menéndez de Avilés held a Thanksgiving Feast in St. Augustine, Florida. He and his crew were joined by the Timucua Indians.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/163866
Both of these "Thanksgivings" were celebrated long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.
All of these Thanksgiving Feasts, including the one held by the Pilgrims in 1621, shared similarities. Christian men and women had sailed across unknown seas to a new land. Upon arrival, they invited the Native Peoples (the Indians) to join them in a Feast. They gave thanks to God for their successful journey, for their food, and for His continued blessings. They celebrated Thanksgiving!
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice. For legal advice see an attorney. For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker Tallahassee, Florida