November 28 – November 30, 2104
Admission: FREE with museum admission
When asked about the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, most Americans will tell you the story of the 1621 feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But there is another side to the story, one that is closely connected to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
On September 25, 1789, the United States Congress passed the articles that would eventually become the first amendments to the Constitution—the Bill of Rights.
But that was not the only piece of business Congress would take care of that day. One the very same day, September 25, 1789, Congress approved a resolution requesting that President George Washington proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. It was not a coincidence—Congress specifically wanted Americans to spend the day giving thanks for our Constitution and the revolutionary form of government it created. A few days later President Washington declared the first national day of thanksgiving.
In the spirt of that 1789 resolution, the National Constitution Center will spend this Thanksgiving Weekend celebrating the same things those early Americans celebrated—the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!
Grab a seat at the table as we talk turkey! Everyone who loves to eat loves Thanksgiving, so join us as we take a look at what this holiday is all about. Learn the real story of the first Thanksgiving, and find out more about the American Indians who were living in what is now New England. We’ll learn about what kinds of foods our early Thanksgiving dinners did and didn’t have, and discover how the day was made a national holiday during the Civil War. And we’ll check out the background of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions—we’ll even talk a little football! So bring your appetite for knowledge and join us as we explore the history of Thanksgiving!
Throughout history, Thanksgiving has brought people together for food and conversation. Civic dialogue can be a healthy side dish, as you respectfully share ideas and examples of citizenship. List out three topics related to civic action that you would like to bring up at the table this holiday.