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        Thanksgiving

        Throughout history, people have given thanks – sometimes in joyful celebration, often in solemn, even prayerful, ceremony. The United States, over hundreds of years, has come to observe a national holiday for giving thanks: Thanksgiving. This set of primary resources containing images and documents provides a window into this time period, as well as a Teacher's Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

        http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/thanksgiving/

        Landing of the Pilgrims (Massasoit and His Warriors)

        This image is of the arrival of the pilgrims and their greeting by Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, and his warriors.

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        School Children’s Thanksgiving Games, 1911

        This image shows students participating in Thanksgiving games and festivities in 1911.

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        Thanksgiving in Camp, 1861

        This image is of union soldiers celebrating Thanksgiving on the battlefield in 1861.

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        Thanksgiving, 1942

        This photograph shows a family Thanksgiving in 1942. Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes...nothing is too good for Uncle Sam's fighting nephews when they come home to Silver Spring, Maryland. The four Coast Guardsmen, eyes riveted on the juicy turkey, watch their father, Wayman Fincham, as he carves. Seated next to him is Mrs. Fincham and next to her is the wife of Fincham's eldest son, who is fighting overseas. Another daughter-in-law is seated between the two Coast Guardsmen at the right. The sixth and youngest of the Finchams is a Coast Guardsman in training.

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        Pilgrims Signing the Compact on the Mayflower, 1620

        This image is of the pilgrims signing the compact, on board the MayFlower on November 11th, 1620.

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        Signing of the Compact in the Cabin of the Mayflower

        This photograph is of a painting signed Percy Moran, showing Myles Standish, William Bradford, William Brewster and John Carver signing the Mayflower Compact in a cabin.

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        Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant, 1921

        This image is of the "Royal Progress", a Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1921.

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        Meeting of Governor Carver and Massasoit

        This image is of Massasoit handing Governor John Carver a peace pipe; three other Indians and two other white men look on.

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        The Mayflower, 1620

        This image is of a painting of the Mayflower in Plymouth harbor. It was painted by William F. Halsall.

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        Lincoln Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1863

        This is Lincoln's presidential proclamation encouraging citizens to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of each November.

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        Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1620

        This print shows a Native American man, hiding on the left, watching the Pilgrims around a campfire with small cauldron. A man with hatchet is gathering firewood and more Pilgrims are coming ashore from the Mayflower, in a winter scene with snow-covered landscape.

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        The First Thanksgiving, 1621

        In the spring of 1610, in what many consider the “first American Thanksgiving,” colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, held a thanksgiving prayer service after English supply ships arrived with much-needed food. Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony celebrated the autumn harvest with a three-day feast. Governor William Bradford invited the chief of the Wampanoag tribe, Massasoit, and his tribesmen to join the colonists and feast on wild turkeys, duck, geese, venison, lobsters, clams, bass, corn, green vegetables, and dried fruits. That harvest celebration is given the distinction of shaping many of America’s Thanksgiving traditions.

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        Departure of the Pilgrim Fathers for America, 1620

        This image shows the departure of the pilgrim fathers, for America in 1620 A.D.

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        Thanksgiving: Teacher's Guide

        Throughout history, people have given thanks – sometimes in joyful celebration, often in solemn, even prayerful, ceremony. The United States, over hundreds of years, has come to observe a national holiday for giving thanks: Thanksgiving. This set of primary resources containing images and documents provides a window into this time period, as well as a Teacher's Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

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        George Washington Recommends a Day of Public Thanksgiving, 1789

        In 1777, the Continental Congress recommended that the colonies observe a day of Thanksgiving after the colonists’ October victory over British forces in the Battle of Saratoga. The commander-in-chief of the Continental forces, George Washington, set aside Thursday, December 18 “for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise.” Two years later, as the president of the United States, George Washington proclaimed November 26 a day of national thanksgiving and prayer, but Thanksgiving failed to become an annual tradition at this time.

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        Sarah Hale to Abraham Lincoln (Thanksgiving), 1863

        This is a letter from the editor of the Lady Book encouraging Lincoln to set a standard day across the country for the celebration of Thanksgiving.

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        A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, 1678

        This proclamation encourages people in the Massachusetts colony to celebrate their bounty with a day of fasting and prayer on November 20th.

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        Proclamation for a Publick Thanksgiving, 1721

        This image shows a proclamation for a "publick" thanksgiving by the honorable Gurdon Saltonstall, Esq; Governour of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut in New-England.

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