While the annual Thanksgiving holiday commemorates a meal celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1621, there actually was a Thanksgiving in Virginia’s own backyard two years earlier.
In December 1619, 38 settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundreds, on the north bank of the James River about 20 miles away from Jamestown. According to their charter, the day of their arrival was to be celebrated annually as a day of thanksgiving to God.
The site eventually became Berkeley Plantation, the traditional home of the Harrison family, one of Virginia’s first families. It continues to celebrate an annual Thanksgiving and welcomed President George W. Bush to the festivities in 2007.
Our gratitude to all who love and support libraries. Happy Thanksgiving!