The History of Thanksgiving

Your browser requires Javascript and Flash to play this movie.

Air Date: November 2014

Live Chat: November 24-26, 2014, 7am-6pm EST

Runtime: 19:20

Civic Holiday: Thanksgiving

Discover the real story of the first Thanksgiving and how the day became a national holiday during the Civil War.

We value your feedback. Please click here to take a brief survey.


Discussion Questions

Before You Watch
  1. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? What does it mean to the United States?
  2. What do you know about the first Thanksgiving?
  3. What does Thanksgiving have to do with other holidays?
  4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
  5. What can Thanksgiving tell us about being active citizens?
After You Watch
  1. What brought the Pilgrims to the New World? How did they behave when they arrived?
  2. What kinds of foods were being eaten at the first Thanksgiving, and who provided them?
  3. Where did Thanksgiving have its origins, and how did it become a national holiday? Think particularly about how it grew over the years, instead of at one single moment.
  4. How have we changed the way we celebrate Thanksgiving over time?
  5. Can you name some Thanksgiving traditions which you weren't aware of?

Civic Holiday Resources