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Our nation's history would not be complete without the story of Santa Fe​

This Country’s First Thanksgiving

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America’s first European founding occurred in 1598 in New Mexico.

According to American history, the founding at Plymouth Rock in 1620 is the oldest colony in the country. The reality is that the first European settlement in the United States occurred 22 years earlier. In 1598 the Spanish explorer, Don Juan de Oñate, and his army established the first colony in north America. The settlement was located at San Gabriel near Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, 30 miles north of Santa Fe.

Thanksgiving in April

On April 30, 1598 this nation’s first Thanksgiving took place. The event occurred near San Elizario, Texas. Oñate, and his contingent of soldiers, Franciscan missionaries and colonists celebrated their safe arrival. They had spent almost two months on a lengthy trek through the treacherous-desert terrain. The heroic expedition suffered from the elements marching from Santa Barbara, Mexico. Finally, they were able to take refuge at the northern boundary of the Rio Grande near El Paso.

For the Record

The historical account of the first settlement was recorded as La Historia de Nuevo Mexico. It was written by the soldier/scribe Gaspar Perez de Villagra. It’s the only epic and historical book narrating the first European settlement of any state in the U.S. That is the true history of America’s first Thanksgiving.