Richard Pickering, deputy director Plimoth Patuext Museums says the event identified at the first Thanksgiving started in the Fall of 1621. He says this is a major anniversary year and with the country opening up again and families being able to gather I think the emotional significance of this particular Thanksgiving is going to be huge. At the museum Paul says he gets to host 1,000 or more Thanksgiving dinners and be with people from across the country and around the world who want to be there where the holiday started and see themselves as part of an American experience that stretches back a long time.
Richard says since the pandemic we have done so much more digital programming that our membership has grown nationwide with people saying well, I’ll buy a membership to the museum because it doesn’t depend on free admission as the driver. I am getting all these monthly or biweekly programs digitally, so we are seeing a far more expansive membership than we have ever had before. He says our numbers are beginning to return and we are seeing more children, and more tours and more families. Paul says what he loves is when people are with me and I hosting dinners and saying that you realize in 1621 that 52 men, women and children and a minimum of 90 Patuxet men that were here, and we think there were other native communities here as well, they couldn’t talk to each other and yet they were able to feast, they were able to play sports and offer military demonstrations.
Paul says he is thankful that this story exists as an example to us because history is not important or meaningful unless it is pragmatic, unless we can apply it so that have a chance as a historian to tell this story and offer us the challenge of being our very best, that is what I am grateful for. He says this museum exists as a tool to help us build a better nation.
For more information Plimoth Patuext Museums go to plimoth.org
For more information on visiting Plymouth Masachusetts visit seeplymouth.org