Today in Southern History: The Real First Thanksgiving

4 December 1619  

On this date in 1619…

Thirty-eight colonists arrived from England and ventured ashore to settle the Berkeley Hundred land grant along the James River. The colonists observed a day of prayer and Thanksgiving for their safe passage to the New World and December Fourth became a “yearly and perpetually kept holy” Thanksgiving Day per the plantation charter.

Other Years:

  • 1783 – Gen. George Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern.
  • 1867 – The National Grange of the Order of Husbandry was founded at Washington, DC.
  • 1943 – Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announced that any club was free to employ black players.
  • 1954 – The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida.
  • 1965 – Gemini 7 launched with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Comdr. James A. Lovell on board from Cape Canaveral, Florida. 
  • 1987 – Cuban inmates at a federal prison in Atlanta freed their 89 hostages, peacefully ending an 11-day uprising.
  • 2000 – O.J. Simpson was involved in an incident with another motorist in Miami, Florida. Simpson was accused of scratching the other motorists face while pulling off the man’s glasses. 
  • 2001 – O.J. Simpson’s home in Miami, Florida was raided by the FBI in an ongoing two year international investigation into drug trafficking, satellite service pilfering and money laundering


Read: Why Know Southern History?

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