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Updated 4/17/2012

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In this Solo podcast, David takes you to Berkeley Plantation to celebrate the REAL first Thanksgiving in America.  The Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621, but here in Virginia, they celebrated it on December 4, 1619, so we actually had the first Thanksgiving.  Explore the site one of the earliest English settlements after Jamestown, see the mansion that was home to the Harrison family who produced two U.S. presidents, watch an American Indian traditional dance, discover a Civil War cannon ball which is still lodged in a building, and find out where “Taps” was first written and played.   Come on, let’s go trekkin’!

Not only did the Harrison family produce the two presidents mentioned in the video (William Henry Harrrison and Benjamin Harrison), but they also produced 3 governors of Virginia: Benjamin Harrison V (1781-1784), Edmund Randolph (1786-1788), and Beverley Randolph (1788-1791).  Benjamin Harrison V was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  He lived his whole life at Berkeley Plantation and had his seven children there!  His youngest child was William Henry Harrison who became the 9th President of the United States.

Benjamin Harrison at the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia where the Declaration was signed

Here’s his signature on the Declaration of Independence right under Thomas Jefferson’s

SOL Correlation:

K.1b The student will recognize that history describes events and people of other times and places by identifying the people and events honored by the holidays of Thanksgiving Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and

Independence Day (Fourth of July).


K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.


1.1 The student will interpret information presented in picture timelines to show sequence of events and will distinguish among past, present, and future.


VS.1i The student will demonstrate responsible citizenship and develop skills for historical and geographical analysis including the ability to analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms, water features, climatic characteristics, and historical events. 


VS.2c The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, Lake Drummond, and the Dismal Swamp).


VS.2g The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by identifying and locating the current state-recognized tribes.


VS.4e The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by describing everyday life in colonial Virginia.


VS.7 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by

b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia.