Let's get this out of the way: The first Thanksgiving did not take place at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. It did not happen in 1621, it didn't involve Pilgrims and there probably weren't even any Native Americans around. Perhaps even more shocking, there was no turkey. It doesn't matter what your third-grade teacher said while making hand turkeys. It's all wrong.
The truth is that the first Thanksgiving took place in Virginia and it took place 400 days before the Mayflower's supposed initial feast. And with nary a gobbler in sight, the boat full of English mercenaries likely ate wild hog, raw oysters and old ship rations.
In September 1619, the Margaret left England for the New World with about 40 people aboard the 35-foot-long ship. Their mission was simple: To settle 8,000 acres of land along the James River in the name of the London-based Berkeley Company. Essentially, they were contracted sharecroppers who were given land and supplies in exchange for the right to their crops and profit. Leading this group of business-minded explorers was Captain John Woodlief, a veteran seafarer and a survivor of the infamous Jamestown "Starving Time."