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The first Thanksgiving

Posted in Anniversary, History, Religion on Tuesday, 23 November 2010

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picture, Thanksgiving, Virginia, Berkeley Hundred

The new arrivals in Virginia gave thanks to God, beginning a tradition still celebrated today. Illustration by Ken Petts

4 December marks the anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a tradition still observed in the USA. In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, 8,000 acres of land on the banks of the James River, about 20 miles from the first permanent settlement established by the Pilgrim Fathers in Virginia.

A service was given on their arrival by Captain John Woodleaf and it was written into the group’s charter that they should observe the day of their arrival yearly as “a day of thanksgiving” to God.

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