The first Thanksgiving was actually in Virginia

12 About Town
12 About Town

Community News

Fireworks safety tips for the 4th!

Independence Day is approaching and we have all you need to know about safety tips and laws for fireworks in Virginia.

  Remembering Markiya Dickson, one year later

On Memorial Day weekend 2019, 9-year-old Markiya Dickson’s life was taken while attending a community event with her family at Carter Jones Park. A year later, the community is honoring her memory, sending a message to put an end to violence.

LOCAL NEWS

Henrico Schools considering 5 different options for return to school in fall

Chesterfield announces $5 million for ‘Back in Business’ grant program

Yes, disobeying Virginia’s mask order could carry a criminal charge. But Northam appears to be counting on compliance.

Virginia honors Class of 2020 at virtual event Friday

Virginia truck driver shot dead in high speed chase on NY highway

More Community News

Anheuser-Busch to donate over 6,900 hand sanitizers to Virginia Emergency Services

Virginia War Memorial holds virtual Memorial Day ceremony for first time in 64 years

Four people, dog rescued floating in James River

‘Richmond will rock again!’: Drive-in concert to be held at City Stadium in June

  Enter to win a copy of the new ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie or an ‘Arcade1Up’ arcade cabinet

Summer guide to RVA swimming spots & water parks

“It’s a miracle” says owner of unexpected twin foal, Tiny, that has defied the odds

  ‘Safety at all costs’: Richmond pastor to keep 10% capacity limit despite president’s call to reopen churches

Henricus Historical Park anticipated to reopen June 3

NBC12 selling ‘Virginia Strong’ t-shirts to benefit Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund

NATIONAL NEWS

  Protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

LOOK OUT! Portuguese Man o’ War, blue buttons wash ashore on Grand Strand beaches

Watch where you step while walking the beach!

We all know the story of the three-day fall harvest feast and celebration between the Plymouth Colony settlers and the Wampanoag Indians in November of 1621.

While these facts remain true, the details surrounding this week-long celebration take on a life of their own with every new generation.

Now, let’s argue the fact that Virginia was the first Thanksgiving! 

Here are the facts…The great Ship ‘Margaret’ landed on the Berkeley 100, now known as Berkeley Plantation, on December 4, 1619. When the settlers landed, they began to to give thanks for a safe arrival to the Almighty God.

This Thanksgiving was strictly religious and did not include a feast like the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Thanksgiving itself is an annual national holiday marked by religious observances across the country.

Let’s rewind to where this story first begins. In 1618 four men, known as the Berkeley Company, got together in London, England. They received a grant for 8,000 acres of land in Virginia to start a settlement. With the help of Richard Berkeley himself, Captain John Woodlief, 19 crew members and 35 settlers they made their way across the Atlantic ocean.

The Berkeley Company in England gave them a list of 10 instructions. One of those was to give thanks for their safe voyage and to say a thankful prayer every year.

That was the first English Thanksgiving in the New World.

The way Thanksgiving is observed changes with both history and time. One President acknowledged Virginia as the first Thanksgiving in the New World after getting a telegram from Virginia State Senator John J. Wicker in 1962. Senator Wicker claimed he had already proven to the Governor of Massachusetts the validity of Virginia’s claim by simply displaying the records to him.

“The White House mended its ways. President Kennedy’s next Thanksgiving Proclamation on November 5, 1963, stated that “Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and Massachusetts, far from home, in a lonely wilderness set aside a time of Thanksgiving. They gave thanks for their safety, the health of their children, the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together and for the faith which united them with their God.” Finally, Virginia was given its rightful recognition and place in history!”

Here’s the full story on the history of the first Thanksgiving at Berkely Plantation!

first Thanksgiving


Stay Connected

Stay up to date on all things 12 About Town!

Like us on Facebook | Contact us