Origin of America's first Christmas: Bradenton - New York News

Origin of America's first Christmas: Bradenton

Posted: Updated:
BRADENTON (FOX 13) -

Historians have traced the first Christmas celebration in the New World, America, to the state of Florida, connecting it to an expedition that landed in Bradenton in 1539.

Hernando de Soto led that expedition. A group of more than 600 explorers left Tampa Bay and headed north, setting up a winter encampment in the Florida panhandle.

"De Soto brought priests along, and as observant Catholics, they would have had a Christmas mass," said archaeologist Dr. Dan Seinfeld. "Although it did not resemble the Christmas we associate with Christmas today, it was a solemn occasion with a mass."

Archaeologists found the spot where they settled for winter.  Today, it's a small park near downtown Tallahassee.

They found pig bones at the site, which may suggest their Christmas feast included pork.

"To avoid starvation, they brought a herd of pigs with them – which probably introduced wild pigs to the southeast," said Seinfeld.

The explorers did not write about their Christmas celebration, or at least their journals were never recovered if they did.

Seinfeld said the expedition was more concerned about supply routes and preparing for conflict with Native Americans.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices