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.
AT THE CENTER
November 25 – November 27, 2016
The museum will have special extended hours on Friday, November 25, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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. On 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!
Beginning November 25 the center will begin to collect school supplies and other items for our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day service projects.
Thanksgiving Day Show
Guests are invited to join in the interactive “History of Thanksgiving” program, which explores the origins and importance of this national holiday. Visitors are encouraged to participate as they learn about the roles presidents have played in creating Thanksgiving Day traditions, including the presidential turkey pardon, and what food may have been prepared at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
Bill of Rights Show
Who wants to be a “Bill-ionaire?” In the museum’s fast-paced game show, students face off in a fun competition testing their Bill of Rights knowledge while an engaging host reveals the real deal about our amendments and freedoms.
Founding Fathers, Founding Documents: Exhibition Tours
Join our education team as they lead exhibition tours—taking you back to our revolutionary period to meet the people who founded our nation, and discover more about the documents they helped create.
Growing Up American Style
Find out what it was like to grow up in different eras of American history. Students participate in a costume runway show featuring traditional-style dress from historical periods while describing what home, school, and work life was like. Students will then explore the main exhibit with a guided tour to learn more about kids in America. How often did kids bathed, how they spent their days, what freedoms they had, and more.
History’s Heroes: Story Corner
Gather ’round and listen to tales of our nation’s birth and our founding father at the museum’s story book corner.
Corn Husk Dolls
These historic toys are a seasonal favorite. Make dolls from corn husk, just like children did in 18th century!
Thank-a-Vet Letter Writing Station
Give thanks to the men and women who’ve served in our nation’s military by sending them a message letting them know that we appreciate their service and sacrifice.
IN THE CLASSROOM
The History of Thanksgiving Constitution Hall Pass Video Lesson
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