Thanksgiving Dinner: What was On The Menu?
What did the Pilgrims eat at the very first Thanksgiving in the year 1621?
Was it pumpkin pie and stuffed turkey? No, it wasn’t!
The Pilgrims definitely ate at Thanksgiving
We do know certain Thanksgiving dinner items from a letter that a Pilgrim man named Edward
Winslow wrote in 1621.
Wheat, corn, and barley – but no peas
“Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our
barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering”
*Note: to the Pilgrims, “corn” is what we call “wheat”.
To the Pilgrims, “Indian corn” is what we call “corn”
Waterfowl (ducks and geese)
“ Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling”
“…king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and
they went out and killed fi ve deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our
Things we think the Pilgrims probably ate at Thanksgiving
We know from records of Mayfl ower Pilgrims certain things that were native to Plymouth or
that they grew in their colony.
Seafood ( fi sh, lobster, eels, clams, mussels)
Nuts (walnuts, chestnuts, acorns)
The Original Thanksgiving
Many cultures all over the world hold festivals or ceremonies to celebrate the fall harvest. But
Thanksgiving was a real event in America in 1621 – that’s almost 400 years ago!
The Pilgrims fi rst came to North America on the ship The Mayfl ower in 1620, landing
in what is now Massachusetts. Taking such a long journey to such a cold climate was hard on
their health, and almost half of those first Pilgrims died of scurvy and pneumonia.
Because the Pilgrims brought germs from Europe that were unknown in the New World,hundreds of Native Americans also got sick and died.
Times were very tough.
The Pilgrims might not have survived if they had not met one
person who changed American history:
the Native American Tisquantum,known to us as Squanto.
Squanto had a lot happen to him in life. As a youth, Squanto was kidnapped by English
merchants who were exploring the New World. They took him to England, where he learned
English and was used as an interpreter and guide in North America by the Plymouth Company.
While he was back in the New World he was kidnapped again by an English trader.
He was shipped to Spain to be sold as a slave, but was taken in by some Spanish friars. Squanto
sailed back to America only to discover that every single person in his tribe had died of plague.
He lived in another Wampanoag village until he heard the Pilgrims had landed.
The first Thanksgiving
The Pilgrims were in danger of starving. Squanto taught them how to fertilize and grow
corn and barley, and where to fi sh. In the fall, the harvest was plentiful. The Pilgrims elected a
governor named William Bradford who proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for the bounty.
Hunters from the colony brought geese and ducks (what, no turkey?).
Fish, lobster,clams, dried fruit and corn were also on the menu.
The Pilgrims invited the Wampanoag chief!
T’was the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn’t sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned,
The dark meat and white.
But I fought the temptation,
With all of my might.
Tossing and turning,
The thought of a snack
So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge,
Full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey,
And buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots,
Beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling,
So plump and so round.
‘til all of a sudden,
I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling,
Floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding,
And a handful of pie.
But I managed to yell
As I soared past the trees
Happy eating to all,
Pass the cranberries, please!!
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize
And May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs!
T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude… our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
by Judith.A. Lindberg
A balm to bathe the wounded heart
Where sorrow’s hand hath lain,
The link divine from soul to soul
That makes us one in pain,
Sweet sympathy, benignant ray,
Light of the soul doth shine;
In it is human nature givin
A touch of the divine.
The Little Pilgrim
Cranberries dripping down my chin
Have stained my pilgrim suit.
I ate too much Thanksgiving day
But I don’t give a hoot.
I slurped a pile of dressing,
Gobbled down a turkey thigh,
Dribbled messy cranberries
Devoured some pumpkin pie.
Week before Thanksgiving,
I limp around real strange.
Huddle in the corner,
As though I have the mange.
All the other turkeys,
Just gobble, gobble on.
I’m silent, and I act
As if my gobbler’s gone. Everyone is thankful
On Thanksgiving Day.
Friday it’s forgotten.
You all go on your way.
I know what thankful is
So listen when I say.
“It’s great to be a turkey,
After Thanksgiving Day.”
The Pilgrims Came
The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it’s very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving Day.
We tell their story old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.
The people think that they were sad,
And grave; I’m sure that they were glad –
They made Thanksgiving Day – that’s fun –
We thank the Pilgrims every one!
by Annette Wynne
It’s That Time, Again
The days are getting shorter now.
I feel a snow flake on my brow.
The leaves are crackling as I run,
The squirrels’ searching almost done.
The turkey’s restless in the pen,
Oh! No! I see my breath again!
It makes a person take a pause
And think about old Santa Claus!!!
In the year of 1620
on a cold Decembre day
a hundred and two pilgrims
sailed into Plymouth Bay.
Still wary from their voyage –
still gacing winter’s chill –
they kept their sights on freedom
with courage, work, and will.
Pilgrims did not stop to think
of riches, fame, or glory
while bravely playing starring roles
in our new nation’s story
by Bobbi Katz
When all the leaves are off the boughs,
And nuts and apples gathered in,
And cornstalks waiting for the cows,
And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,
Then Mother says, “My children dear,
The fields are brown, and autumn flies;
Thanksgiving Day is very near,
And we must make thanksgiving pies!”
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway —
Thanksgiving comes again!
The First Thanksgiving
When the Pilgrims
first gathered together to share
with their Indian friends
in the mild autumn air,
they lifted the voices
in jubilant praise
for the bread on the table,
the berries and maize,
for field and for forest,
for turkey and deer,
for the bountiful crops
they were blessed with that year.
They were thankful for these
as they feasted away,
and as they were thankful
we’re thankful today.
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home —
For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman’s hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought —
For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the “Land of the Free” —
A Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt
When and where is Thanksgiving Day celebrated?
What nationality were the first settlers (now called the Pilgrim Fathers) on the
American East coast?
What was the name of the Pilgrim Fathers’ boat?
Where did the Pilgrims start their voyage and where did they arrive?
When did they start their voyage and when did they arrive?
Look up the word harvest in the dictionary and write a sentence to say what they
harvest in your region.
Student worksheet. Name:
A Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt
The Wampanoag were the first Indian people that the Pilgrim Fathers met. What
does the name of the tribe mean?
Today, Indians prefer to be called “—— Americans”.
What does Thanksgiving Day commemorate, and what do people do on that day?
What food do people have for Thanksgiving, nowadays?
Thanksgiving is composed of two words. Write them down. In your opinion, what
does the word “thanksgiving” mean?
Six months ago, Gail O’Brien didn’t know whether or not she would be able to treat her cancer. Betsy Burton wasn’t sure if she could afford to keep paying the skyrocketing premiums for her employees’ health insurance. Paul Horne was struggling to make ends meet after his prescription drug coverage hit the “donut hole.”
The thing about these stories is that they could happen to anybody. Millions of Americans — maybe even you or someone you know — have been struggling for years with our broken health care system. These stories are what inspired me to fight for the Affordable Care Act and made me so proud to sign this landmark legislation into law six months ago.
Every day, I hear from Americans like Gail, Betsy and Paul, and a few of these folks have stepped forward to bravely share their stories with the entire country. Take a minute to hear what they have to say:
The Affordable Care Act is already making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans. And starting tomorrow, the Patient’s Bill of Rights goes into effect, ending some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry and putting you, not your insurance company, in control of your health care.
Here’s what the Patient’s Bill of Rights means for you:
This is a long-overdue victory for American consumers and patients. For years, millions of Americans have been at the mercy of their insurance companies as they jacked up rates, denied coverage or dropped patients all together.
Now, some opponents of this reform have pledged to “repeal and replace” all of the progress we’ve made over the past six months. But I refuse to go back to the days when insurance companies could deny a child health care due to a pre-existing condition or impose a lifetime limit on care for a cancer patient. Those days are over.
The Affordable Care Act provides basic rules of the road that make our health care system work for consumers. It cuts costs and will help us begin to get our fiscal house in order. And most importantly, it provides Americans with the peace of mind that their insurance will be there for them when they need it.
To learn more about the Patient’s Bill of Rights and the Affordable Care Act, visit:
President Barack Obama
P.S. Last week, I surprised Gail O’Brien by calling her at home. You can see what happened here:
Last scenes of the film
On the coach after one of the concert
Johnny:I think it's time now, you know?. I think it's about time. June:Time for what?. Johnny:For you and me to get married. June:Go to sleep,John. Johnny:I don't want to sleep. I want to marry you...and I'm telling you,it's the time. June:Well, I am telling you, with 100 % certainty...that it is not the time. It's not about time.It's not the right time.It's not even quarter to the right time.
Johnny:June. How do you know?. I mean… June:You haven’t been clean even six months.Come on.Except for a honeymoon, you have not even thought about what you’re asking me.
Johnny:Yes, I have.I have. That’s all. I’ve thought about. June:Well, how’s it going to work, John?.Where we going to live?. What about my girls?. What about your girls?. Well…What about your parents,John?.Your daddy won’t even look at me.
Johnny:June, that stuff will just work itself out. June:No, it does not work itself out. People work it out for you…and you think it works itself out. Johnny:You’re scared.
Johnny:You’re scared of being in love.You’re scared of losing control. And you know what, June Carter?.I think you’re scared of living in my big fat shadow. – That’s your problem. – Oh, really?. – Yeah. Yeah, it is. – Is that my problem?. My problem is it’s : a.m.
June:My problem is I’m asleep.I’m on a tour bus with eight stinking men. Rule number one– don’t propose to a girl on a bus.You got that?. Rule number two–don’t tell her it’s because you had a bad dream.
Johnny:June?. What?. Marry me. Okay. Well, that’s…that’s the last time I’m asking. Well, good. I hate reruns.
Behind the stage
Hey, June? June? What's that, dear? June? MAN (on TV): I said... What's that, dear?. What, you're not talking to me? You are not allowed to speak to me tonight. After that stunt you pulled on the bus... the only place you're allowed to speak to me is on stage. - Do you understand?. - What did I do?. I don't know. Why don't you ask your big fat shadow?. Come on, baby. Come on, baby. Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. All right, thank you.
Music and song
Johnny:I don't know if ya'll know who wrote that song... but it's this long-legged gal standing right here... Miss June Carter. June:Thanks, ya'll. Thank you very much. Johnny:So, uh, June, you going to stand over there all night... or you want to come over here and sing with me?. June:I'll sing with you,Mr. Cash. Johnny:You sure that's what you want?. June:Yeah. All right. Okay. Well, folks, what do you say?. You want to hear, uh, ""J ackson"?. All right. Thought you was gonna wax poetic a little bit longer. No, I'm done with that, June. Oh, okay, good. Sorry for the interruption, folks... but, uh, I got to ask June here a question before we finish this song. What's that, John?. Johnny:Will you marry me?. Why don't we just sing the song, John?. No, darling. Come on, finish the song. People want to hear us sing. Sorry folks, but, uh... I just can't do this song anymore...unless she's gonna marry me. It'd just be like we're lying. You got these people all revved up, John. - Now come on, let's sing "Jackson" for 'em. - You got me all revved up. I've asked you different ways and it's time you come up with a fresh answer. Please, sing. I'm asking you to marry me. I love you, June. Now I know I said and done a lot of things... that I hurt you, but I promise I'll never do that again. I only want to take care ofyou. I will not leave you like that Dutch boy with your finger in the dam. You're my best friend. ( whispers ): Marry me. All right. Yeah?. In case none of y'all heard, she said ""yes"! She's finally said "yes".
Grandpa, here, let's talk on this. What do you want me to do with it?. Well, you... you listen and you talk. It's a tin can telephone. And the sound goes up the string. Hello, grandgirls. Hello, grandgirls. Can you hear us?. Hello, Roseanne. Hello, Carlene. You got to pull it tight, Daddy. Come on, Grandpa.Talk. Speak, Grandpa. - Tell us a story. - Speak. - Grandpa! - Tell us a story. Here, you take it, talk to them. No, they want to talk to their grandpa. I don't got no stories.You got all the stories, Shooter. Why don't you tell them about the food?. Tell them about how you made a boat out of the front door and got us all out of there. They'll like that. Tell us! Come on, tell 'em. You got to pull the string tight. It was 1937...