Just a few Thanksgiving observations

Some people consider this holiday as an appropriate time to commemorate the genocide against Native Americans. Since 1970, people have gathered at Plymouth Rock to mark the “National Day of Mourning.” Supporters of this movement argue that Thanksgiving “celebrates” crimes against humanity; in particular, against the Mashantucket Pequots (in 1637). Such groups have a similar view of Columbus Day.

And I say, the first Thanksgiving was held in Berkeley Plantation in VIRGINIA — a year before the Mayflower turned up —  so take that Plymouth, Mass.  (Although we must celebrate our Manx connection.  Myles Standish, of Ramsey, Isle of Man, was taken on the Mayflower by the colonists as a security measure. He was a soldier of great repute. In 1621 he was appointed the first commander of Plymouth Colony.)

The first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain John Woodlief led the newly-arrived English colonists to a grassy slope along the James River and instructed them to drop to their knees and pray in thanks for a safe arrival to the New World. It was December 4, 1619, and 38 men from Berkeley Parish in England vowed:

“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
You’ll find their vow carved on a brick gazebo marking the location believed to be where Woodlief knelt beside the James River.

The Berkeley site is interesting.