Exploring the Meaning and History of Thanksgiving

Have you ever wondered what really happened at the first Thanksgiving?
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What did they eat? What did they do? Now you and your family can find out with The FirstThanksgiving– You Are the Historian – Online Learning Center.

“Historians are history detectives. They use clues to try to figure out what happened in the past. Some historians think that “The First Thanksgiving” wasn’t really a thanksgiving. They call it “The 1621 Harvest Celebration” because it was more like a harvest festival. You can be a historian! On this website, you will discover clues about what really happened at the 1621 harvest celebration. Enter to begin your investigation.”

Play online or download the application and explore the first Thanksgiving offline.

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After two months at sea on a ship similar to this one the Pilgrims reached the new world. Explore their journey and the ship they sailed on at Scholastic’s The FirstThanksgivingStudent Activities site.

“The 1620 voyage from England to America was more than 3,000 miles and beset by autumn storms.

Learn what it was like to live and work on a 17th-century sailing vessel, and relive part of this epic journey.”

You can also learn what daily life was like for the pilgrims among the Wampanoag, or “eastern peoples,” who already lived in the Massachusetts Bay area.

Thanksgiving Day

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After the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth they were greeted each morning with a beautiful sunrise and view of the ocean like the one pictured here taken at Plymouth beach.

While you’re waiting for your turkey day festivities to begin check out The History ofThanksgivingfrom the History channel. Watch videos like The Origins of Thanksgiving, the First Football broadcast, and the History of the Turducken; learn fun facts like the largest pumpkin pie ever weighed 2,020 pounds, and find out the real stories behind the myths about the first Thanksgiving.

Count your blessings this week and have a wonderful Thanksgiving day just being with your family.

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Family History Fun & Simple

Last year when I went back home to visit my family in Australia, my mother pulled out the coolest thing I have seen in my entire life – a handmade, hand-bound, hand-drawn, hand-written (you know I love the ‘hand’ stuff) giant comic book documenting the 3 month trip her and my dad took as newlyweds.