The Real First Thanksgiving was in Texas

Don Oñate celebrating the first Thanksgiving in North America with the Mansos tribe in 1598. photo from:

Don Oñate celebrating the first Thanksgiving in North America with the Mansos tribe in 1598.

Thanksgiving means many things to many people, and the point of the entire exercise is to be grateful for what you have. Be thankful for good health, financial success, a happy family, even for something as trivial as your football team whooping theirs.

We here at PPL Motorhomes are thankful most of all for y’all’s continued support over the years, we couldn’t possibly do what we do without you folks supporting us and patronizing our business, and for that we are supremely grateful.

Seeing as how we are a company proudly based in the fine state of Texas, we thought today might be a good opportunity to describe the first Thanksgiving in North America, which actually occurred near El Paso, Texas, a good 23 years prior to the Pilgrims hitting Plymouth Rock way off up in Massachusetts.

What happened was, there was this mighty successful Spanish gentleman by the name of Juan de Oñate. He and his family were responsible for discovering the mines in San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas and shipped much wealth back home to the Spanish King. In return, the king granted Oñate vast lands up on the Rio Grande among the Pueblo Indians and the title Governor of New Mexico. So Oñate gathered up a few hundred settlers and soldiers, thousands of head of cattle, and struck out heading north out of Chihuahua across the desert towards the Rio Grande. It took 50 days and at one point the only thing that saved the caravan was a sudden rainstorm. By the time they reached the Rio Grande, they were in desperate straits and the waters of the Rio literally saved their lives.

After recuperating for a week or so, Oñate ordered a celebratory feast and invited the local Mansos tribe to join them. A survivor wrote, “We built a great bonfire and roasted the meat and fish, and then all sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before. We were happy that our trials were over; as happy as were the passengers in the Ark when they saw the dove returning with the olive branch in his beak, bringing tidings that the deluge had subsided.” Thus proving that the first Thanksgiving happened in Texas.

All of us here at PPL Motorhomes would like to wish a “Big ‘Ol Texas-sized Happy Thanksgiving” to all of our RVing friends and family around this great state and across America.


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