Painting, James Daugherty, "Thanksgiving Greetings."

You Cannot Give Thanks for What Is Stolen

American artists were instrumental in propagating the false narrative of Thanksgiving, a deliberate erasure of violence against Indigenous peoples.
This 1925 painting depicts an idealized version of an early Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.

How to Tell the Thanksgiving Story on Its 400th Anniversary

Scholars are unraveling the myths surrounding the 1621 feast, which found the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag cementing a newly established alliance.
A turkey dinner on a table, with the Rockwell painting Freedom from Want, also featuring a turkey dinner, hanging on the wall.

How the American Right Claimed Thanksgiving for Its Own

Pass the free enterprise, please.
Painting of the first Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving is a Key Chapter in America's Origin Story

What happened in Virginia four months later mattered much more.
Action shot of the Detroit Lions playing the Chicago Bears in 1934.

How the NFL Popularized Thanksgiving Day Football

The NFL holiday tradition took off in 1934, when the Detroit Lions hosted the unbeaten Chicago Bears in a game broadcast nationally on radio.
Mashpee Wampanoag woman puts away traditional clothing in a wetu (wood-framed building).

This Tribe Helped the Pilgrims Survive for Their First Thanksgiving. They Still Regret It.

Long marginalized and misrepresented in U.S. history, the Wampanoags are bracing for the 400th anniversary of the first Pilgrim Thanksgiving in 1621.
Newspaper scraps from the Flu Pandemic of 1918.

We're Celebrating Thanksgiving Amid a Pandemic. Here's How We Did it in 1918 and What Happened Next.

Many Americans were living under quarantines, and officials warned people to stay home for the holiday.

The Way American Kids Are Learning About the 'First Thanksgiving' Is Changing

"I look back now and realize I was teaching a lot of misconceptions."

The Invention of Thanksgiving

Massacres, myths, and the making of the great November holiday.

Thanksgiving Has Been Reinvented Many Times

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, Thanksgiving was very different from the holiday we know now.
Illustration imagining the first Thanksgiving.

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday about food – but it is more specifically a holiday about food’s absence.
Illustration imagining the first Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning

A Native student explains why the holiday is a painful reminder of a whitewashed past.
family Thanksgiving meal

The Dark and Divisive History of America’s Thanksgiving Hymn

How a beloved song with origins in 16th-century Europe captures both a holiday's spirit of unity and a country's legacy of exclusion.

American as Pumpkin Pie

Why Pilgrims would be stunned by our "traditional" Thanksgiving table, and other surprising truths about the invention of our national holiday.
Woman holding a turkey on a platter.

The Modern Invention of Thanksgiving

The holiday emerged not from the 17th century, but rather from concerns over immigration and urbanization in the 19th century.
Pilgrim Thanksgiving

Which Thanksgiving?

The forgotten history of Thanksgiving.

The Truth About Thanksgiving Is that the Debunkers Are Wrong

A response to claims that the First Thanksgiving was not a "thanksgiving" as the Pilgrims understood it.
“The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers,” an 1885 parody of an 1850 painting by Charles Lucy.


Was the 'first Thanksgiving' merely a pretext for the bloodshed, enslavement, and displacement that would follow in later decades?
Charlie Brown and his friends at a store with a Christmas sale.

When Christmas Started Creeping

Christmas starts earlier every year — or does it?
Still Life with Ham, 1625.

Thanksgiving and the Curse of Ham

19th-century African American writer Charles Chesnutt’s subversive literature.