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San Elizario's first Thanksgiving being called a marketing campaign
By: Sarai Bejarano
EL PASO, Texas -
The claim that Americas first Thanksgiving took place in San Elizario is now being questioned. According to the El Paso Times, the president of the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society, Al Borrego, said that the society board members, residents and historians have been debating on whether to cease the claim that San Elizario held the first Thanksgiving in America.
The ongoing claim that has been made for the past 25 years states that the first Thanksgiving took place in San Elizario in 1598 and not in Massachusetts in 1621. The claim is said to have just been a marketing tool that helped with tourism in San Elizario and since there is no concrete evidence of this ever taking place, the San Elizario the Genealogy and Historical Society wants to do away with it.
The marketing strategy is said to have initiated by Sheldon Hall, the founder of the El Paso Mission Trail Association in 1989 according to the El Paso Times.
According to the El Paso Times, the Genealogy and History Society will send a letter to the Mission Trail Association, which has the rights to the first Thanksgiving festival, letting it know that the society is no longer referring to the Don Juan de Oate expedition's arrival at San Elizario as the first Thanksgiving.
In an article by the El Paso Times, Borrego mentions that the society's job is to focus on the historical aspect of San Elizario and they feel that that marketing concept has run its course.