First Thanksgiving marked -- at Williamsburg, Va.
Williamsburg, Va. — About 5,000 people gathered to celebrate what they say is a little-known historical fact - that the first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia and not at Plymouth Rock, Mass.
Dr. Davis Paschall, president emeritus of William and Mary College, said that documented history has it that 38 settlers landed on the banks of the James River on Dec. 4, 1619. Under orders from London, the settlers of what was to become the Berkeley Hundred plantation declared the anniversary of their arrival to be ''kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving.'' That was two years ealier than the pilgrims' celebration in Massachusetts.