Thanksgiving time travel

Turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. These were the trimmings of the first Thanksgiving, right? Wrong!

Researchers from National Geographic have teamed with the staff of Plimoth Plantation to give a more accurate view of that Indian and Pilgrim gathering in "1621: A New Look At Thanksgiving."

Every year, Pilmoth Plantation, a popular living museum in Massachusetts, reenacts the gathering in well-documented style. The photos that adorn this book were taken during last year's event, and they will correct some misconceptions.

Thanksgiving wasn't one large meal; it was a series of meals over three days. It wasn't primarily a Pilgrim party, with invitations going to Indians; it was a time of mutual celebration. It wasn't even called Thanksgiving; it was simply a harvest celebration. And Pilgrims weren't calling themselves Pilgrims at that point. This striking book offers a balanced account of what might have occurred in the fall of 1621, an account in which the Wampanoag Indians played a more important role than the myths of succeeding centuries have acknowledged.

Karen Carden reviews children's books for the Monitor.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.