History To-Go: Thanksgiving

In the year 1621 the Wampanoag American Indian tribe and the English settlers of the Plymouth Colony shared a fall harvest feast that we recognize today as the first Thanksgiving celebrated in the colonies. This festival lasted for three days. However, it was unlikely that the pilgrims called it Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day as we know it today was not celebrated in North Carolina until 1849, but the first nationally proclaimed Thanksgiving took place in 1784. When the Revolutionary war ended in 1784, George Washington and the Continental Congress designated a day of Thanksgiving for the return of peace. The day selected was November 26th. The holiday later became fixed at the national level by President Abraham Lincoln as the last Thursday of November, and has remained that way since. Modern Thanksgiving feasts are typically made up of a large spread of food items including turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, cranberry sauce, and other veggies. In contrast, early Thanksgiving feasts would have been far less abundant. Early settlers had to rely on trade from American Indian tribes to survive during times of poor farming, a lack of supplies from England, and depleted stores. Historians don't know for sure what was served at the first Thanksgiving celebration, but what we do know is that the American Indians and Colonists would have hunted for meat and gathered other sources of food items to prepare. 

November's "History To-Go" box features Thanksgiving! You can come by the museum starting Tuesday, November 7, 2023 to pick up a box (limit 2 per family). Limited supplies, so come early!  You can select the links below to access the box contents if you cannot get to the museum to pick yours up!

Thanksgiving: Instructions
Thanksgiving: Word scramble
Thanksgiving: Word search
Thanksgiving: Writing activity
Thanksgiving: Traditional pumpkin pie recipe

Thanks to funding from the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation Inc, and the Arts Council of Fayetteville we are offering FREE "History To-Go", take home craft kits. 

NEXT MONTH: Moravian Christmas