Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning

The first Thanksgiving has long been popularised in mainstream history as a time of peaceful relations between the colonists from the Mayflower and Native Americans.

This account has been much-disputed over the last four centuries - particularly by Native American community who instead mark the occasion with a National Day of Mourning and remember the suffering of their ancestors.

This Thanksgiving, in the 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower's sailing, we explore multiple aspects of the story.

  • Frank James and the history of the National Day of Mourning

    Fifty years ago, a proud Native American man called Frank James took a stand. He took a stand against centuries of history that told a story that simply was not true. A legacy that gave his people no voice.

    This is the story of Frank James and HIS lasting legacy.

    More info
    Read more
  • The story of Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning

    Without the help of the Native American community they met upon settling in America, the Mayflower Pilgrims would have likely never survived.

    The first Thanksgiving has long been popularised in mainstream history as a time of peaceful relations between the colonists and Native Americans - something that has been much-disputed over the last four centuries.

    More info
    Read more
  • Video: The National Day of Mourning 2020

    The National Day of Mourning marks 50 years since the people of the Wampanoag refused to accept the one-dimensional telling of the Thanksgiving story and were no longer willing to be silenced.

    This video seeks to tell that story in partnership with Plymouth 400 and Native American marketing agency SmokeSygnals Marketing and Communications.

    More info
  • Illuminate 2020: Make Your Own 'One Small Candle'

    Display a lit lantern in your window on Thursday 26 November and take part in special Illuminate events in Gainsborough, Boston and North Nottinghamshire.

    West Lindsey District Council is leading the ‘One Small Candle’ campaign for this year’s Illuminate in Gainsborough as part of the town’s Arts Council England-funded Mayflower 400 cultural programme.

    More info
    Read more
  • The Consequences

    It's been 400 years since the Mayflower sailed from the river’s edge in Rotherhithe to Plymouth, and we still aren't telling the story in full.

    Its anniversary is being commemorated in a variety of ways both nationally and internationally, so London Bubble Theatre, with its HQ in Rotherhithe, has decided to carry out a community inquiry of its own by hosting a free online event on Thursday 26 November, from 7-8pm.

    More info
    Read more
  • Giving Thanks campaign launches in Southampton as part of Mayflower 400

    Giving Thanks is a new campaign to create digital memories that bring the people of Southampton together in a shared celebration of the city and its communities.

    Launching on 26 November to coincide with Thanksgiving 2020, it is being delivered as part of the ongoing city-wide Mayflower 400 programme and aims to not just mark the anniversary, but to bring people together as best we can in these days of social isolation, through generating an understanding of difference and encouraging an attitude of gratitude.

    More info
    Read more
  • Speedwell lights being switched off to mark National Day of Mourning

    Created by local artist collective Still/Moving, 'Speedwell' has lit up lit up Mount Batten Pier in Plymouth UK since September, but now the time has come to 'extinguish' this large-scale art installation.

    This Thursday, 26 November, the words 'NO NEW WORLDS' will shine out until dusk, when the artwork will switch off for the remaining duration of its installation (until Sunday 29 November) as part of the US National Day of Mourning.

    More info
    Read more
Sign up for the latest Mayflower 400 news

You'll be the first to hear the latest Mayflower news, events, and more.

The stunning @GuildhallLondon in @cityoflondon is officially home to the ground-breaking ‘Wampum: Stories from the…

Follow @mayflower400uk

Mayflower 400 Proudly Supported by our National Sponsors and Funding Partners