Plymouth museum marks 400 years of Thanksgiving with exhibit

The Plimoth Patuxet Museums exhibit We Gather Together: Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and the Making of National Holiday takes visitors through the history of this quintessential American holiday.

The Plimoth Patuxet Museums exhibit We Gather Together: Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and the Making of National Holiday takes visitors through the history of this quintessential American holiday.

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts museum dedicated to the English colony of Plymouth and local indigenous tribes has opened a new exhibit to mark the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving.

The Plimoth Patuxet Museums opened an exhibit entitled We Gather Together: Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and the Making of an American Holiday on Sept. 25. It explores the relationship between the indigenous people and English colonists to “better understand the events that led to the First Thanksgiving,” said the museum, which features a replica colonial village and reenactors in Plymouth.

It features rarely seen artifacts from the museum’s collection, as well as art from across the centuries tracing how the New England tradition grew and emerged as a national holiday in the 19th century.

The exhibit's center display looks at the history of Thanksgiving dinners through 11 meals that took place from 1621 to 1957.

A central display looks at the history of Thanksgiving dinners through 11 meals that took place from 1621 to 1957.

“Patuxet/Plymouth is the place where ancient traditions of gratitude in both Indigenous and European cultures merged,” the museum said in a statement. “We Gather Together will explore the ancient and deeply human expression of gratitude that is the bedrock of this national holiday.”

The Pokanoket tribe and their sachem Massasoit shared in three days of feasting and entertainment with English colonists in the autumn of 1621, helping inspire the holiday of gathering and giving thanks, according to the museum.

ACN/ACN International contributed to this report.

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