Thanksgiving Interactive: You are the Historian

What really happened at the First Thanksgiving? Become a history detective and find out!

In this fun, award-winning activity, you take on the role of a “history detective” to investigate what really happened at the famous 1621 celebration. (Hint: It was a lot more than just a feast!) Along the way, you will read a letter written by an eyewitness to the event, learn about Wampanoag traditions of giving thanks, and visit Pilgrim Mary Allerton’s home. As a final activity, you can design and print your own Thanksgiving exhibit panel.

Plimoth Plantation's Online Learning Center: You Are the Historian - Thanksgiving Interactive

begin your adventure

Great for kids (and adults) of all ages, the activities are designed to address Massachusetts’ and national curriculum standards. Click here to preview the Teacher's Guide.

What You'll Need


Due to the extremely high level of interest during the Thanksgiving season, you may experience slow response and loading times. Avoid internet traffic slow-downs by downloading the application and playing it from your hard drive.

Save the file to your hard drive and un-zip the contents. Once the "You are the Historian" folder is uncompressed, double click the "Start_Here.html" file contained inside to begin using the application.

You are the Historian is a production of Plimoth Plantation. This project was supported by a congressionally directed grant administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and by other generous donors.


Did you enjoy You are the Historian? Check out our other online adventure!

The Journey of the Mayflower II

More than 50 years ago, a dream became a reality as Mayflower II sailed from Brixham, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts. There were no motors nor chase boats; only wind, sails and brave sailors successfully sailed this full-scale reproduction of the original Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to New England in 1620. This online exploration is dedicated to those daring souls who believed in this dream and made it a reality. Plimoth Plantation invites you to explore this site with the same sense of adventure that fueled the Pilgrims and the 1957 crew, as they made their famous transatlantic journeys.  Guided by the 1957 ships’ log, we have recreated the sailors’ historic voyage using anecdotes and artifacts, as well as vintage and contemporary video clips, to illustrate the unique endeavor of the very special crew of Mayflower II.