When most Americans think of the first Thanksgiving, they think of the Pilgrims and the Indians in New England in 1621. But fifty-six years before the Pilgrims celebrated, Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez arrived on the coast of Florida and founded the first North American city, St. Augustine.
On September 8, 1565, the Spanish and the native Timucua celebrated with a feast of Thanksgiving. The Spanish most likely offered cocido, a rich stew made with pork, garbanzo beans, and onions. Perhaps the Timucua provided wild turkey or venison, or even alligator or tortoise, along with corn, beans, and squash.
Learn about our real first Thanksgiving. Learn about Spain and Florida in the 1560s. And make your own cocido from a recipe provided in this important and groundbreaking book.
Robyn Gioia teaches full-time and has been active in children's literature since joining an eclectic group of writers during a three-year stay in England. She is a former board member of the Florida Writers Association and has been a judge for several national contests. She reviews children's books for the School Library Journal and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her middle-grade novel, Rinny and the Trail of Clues (under the name Robyn Leslie), has won several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Best New Children's Voice.