Health Masters PT - November 2017

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INSIDE This Issue

Realizing My Son’s College Basketball Dreams 3 Family Activities for Thanksgiving Check Out Our New Anti-Gravity Treadmill!

Eliminate Hand and Wrist Pain Brussels Sprouts With Sausage

The ‘First Thanksgiving’ of Texas

The ‘First Thanksgiving’ of Texas

From the outset, their travels were plagued with turmoil. First came a seven-day deluge of rain, followed by a pervasive dryness that steadily began to drive everyone mad with thirst. When they finally reached the Rio Grande, humans and their animal charges frantically scrambled to drink as much water as possible. Two horses burst their stomachs, and two travelers drowned in the river. Since the Rio Grande had narrowly saved the party from death by starvation and dehydration, Oñate felt a feast was in order. The expedition held a massive day of thanksgiving, complete with a feast of Spanish game and fish they had received from nearby Native Americans. One member wrote that the meal was “the like of which [they] had never enjoyed.” It was a welcome respite from the hazardous trials they’d endured during their travels. After the food was gone and a mass was held, Oñate made a declaration claiming the surrounding land in the name of King Philip II of Spain. Though the Thanksgiving tradition celebrated across America today undoubtedly sprang from the pilgrims of New England, it was, in fact, the Spanish who held the “first Thanksgiving” of North America, in Texas, years before.

Everyone has heard the story of the English Protestants breaking bread with the Wampanoag tribe in Plymouth back in 1621, but Spanish explorers celebrated a different kind of Thanksgiving, right here in El Paso, over 20 years prior to the landing of the Mayflower.

Juan de Oñate was the member of a prominent, rich family in Spain, with many accomplishments under his belt. Still, he always dreamed of leading an expedition into the uncharted lands of North America. When the viceroy of New Spain finally granted him some land in the Rio Grande Valley, Oñate sent Vicente de Zaldívar to blaze a trail from southern Chihuahua to what is modern-day El Paso. After receiving de Zaldívar’s report, Oñate gathered an expedition of 500 soldiers and colonists, along with their wives and children, and began to trek across the brutal desert of Chihuahua.

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