Plimoth Patuxet Museums announces the national premiere of the Smithsonian Channel’s new film – Behind the Holiday: The First Thanksgiving. The premiere screening will be held at Plimoth Patuxet Museums on Sat., Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m. The Museum is delighted to provide free and public access to the film screening.

Thanksgiving is America’s quintessential, original holiday that creates a continuity in the American experience. Most of today’s celebrations joyfully continue the tradition begun four hundred years ago in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

“From one generation to the next, we pass on the family traditions and favorite recipes, the heirloom china and the stories that accompany these personal treasures,” said Richard Pickering, Deputy Executive Director at Plimoth Patuxet Museums. “The feast that it is, the gift of Thanksgiving is not really about the day’s menu. The gift is gathering together in gratitude. In this moment of our Nation’s history, this gift and message are needed now more than ever.”

Guided by interviews with curators and experts, including Wampanoag tribal historians, this film explores the authentic origins of the holiday. Cinematic, historically accurate recreations filmed at Plimoth Patuxet Museums' 17th-Century English Village, the Historic Patuxet Homesite, and Mayflower II, bring the story to life, while objects from the Smithsonian collections transport viewers back in time.

Tickets to the film screening are free to the public on a first come, first served basis. As a supplementary event option, guests will also have the opportunity to obtain tickets to a pre-screening reception at 6:00 p.m., featuring a meet and greet with the film’s producers. Guests may also purchase a snack box of specialty curated treats to enjoy while watching the film, as well as attend an after screening Q&A with Plimoth Patuxet Museums’ scholars and filmmakers.

Proceeds from the pre-screening reception, snack box, and Q&A will support Plimoth Patuxet’s educational mission in the 400th anniversary year of the 1621 Harvest Feast known as the First Thanksgiving. These opportunities can be purchased online at

This event is one of a number of special events and programming planned this fall to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving, including the recently opened exhibit focused on the origins of Thanksgiving, We Gather Together: Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and the Making of an American Holiday. A complete list of Thanksgiving experiences can be found at