Gov. Ann Richards is inviting her counterpart in Massachusetts to a Thanksgiving feast - Texas style.

Richards signed a proclamation Friday that declares April 28 "a day of celebration and commemoration of the first true Thanksgiving in the United States."She's not talking turkey.

Since 1988, a group of history buffs have re-enacted the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Onate on the banks of the Rio Grande. Onate's arrival in what is now Texas occurred nearly a quarter of a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld was out of state Friday and his press secretary, Ray Howell, said Weld's office had not yet received Richards' invitation.

Onate, son of a Spanish noble family, reached the Rio Grande valley in 1598 after an arduous trek through from Santa Barbara, Mexico.

According to the writings of Gaspar Perez Villagra, who recorded the journey, the colonists staged a play and offered prayers as a symbol of gratitude to God for their safe arrival, said Sheldon Hall, president of the Mission Trail Association.

The feast and play took place in what is now San Elizario, a community on the southern outskirts of El Paso.

Although Richards acknowledged the Pilgrims role in history in her proclamation, she asked Weld "to also proclaim this Thanksgiving as the first Thanksgiving by colonists in the United States."