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>>

  • Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:06:51 GMT
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

  • $1M Powerball ticket sold in NJ set to expire

    $1M Powerball ticket sold in NJ set to expire

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:23:45 GMT
    State lottery officials say a Powerball ticket worth $1 million that was sold at a northern New Jersey convenience store last year will soon expire.
    State lottery officials say a Powerball ticket worth $1 million that was sold at a northern New Jersey convenience store last year will soon expire.
  • Princeton worker told to choose medical pot or job

    Princeton worker told to choose medical pot or job

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:19 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:19:48 GMT
    A Princeton University employee says he has been told to choose between medical marijuana and his job.
    A Princeton University employee says he has been told to choose between medical marijuana and his job.
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices