Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

November 20-26, 2017

Do-Now Discussion

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

Thanksgiving Weekend
November 24 – November 26, 2017

The museum will have special extended hours on Friday, November 24, 2017, 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 the same day that the United States Congress passed the Bill of Rights, it also 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.

All programs are FREE with admission, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The museum will have extended hours on Friday, November 25, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day Show
Daily, 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
Explore the origins and importance of this national holiday and 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
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
Show off your Bill of Rights knowledge in the museum’s fast-paced game show, “Who wants to be a “Bill-ionaire?”

Founding Fathers, Founding Documents: Exhibit Tours
Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Sunday 1:30 p.m.
Signers' Hall
Join our education team as they lead exhibit 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
Daily, 2:30 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
Find out what it was like to grow up in different eras of American history through a costume runway show, featuring traditional-style dress from historical periods, and a guided tour of the main exhibit. Learn what home, school, and work life was like. How often did kids bathe in the Revolutionary Era? How did they spend their days, and what freedoms did they have? 

History’s Heroes: Story Corner
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday 12 – 3 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
Gather ’round and listen to tales of our nation’s birth and our Founding Fathers at the museum’s story book corner.   

Corn Husk Dolls
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday 12 – 3 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
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
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday 12 – 3 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby
Take a moment to write letters of thanks to the women and men who have served in the country’s Armed Forces. Postcards can also be accessed online and downloaded by virtual visitors.

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

  • Plimoth Plantation: Thanksgiving Interactive

  • Plimoth Plantation: Thanksgiving History

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