Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.



Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving can be found in pop culture -- usually it's a good reason for a family to get together in a movie or TV show. It's a lot harder to find historical references. As a lover of the History Channel and other quasi documentary / educational channels, I always hope for a TV show about the various historical aspects of Thanksgiving, Plymouth, pilgrims and puritans.

Some movies:

Dear America: A Journey to the New World, based on the book of the same name;

Plymouth Adventure, with Spencer Tracy, Lloyd Bridges and Gene Tierney;

Mayflower: The Pilgrim's Adventure, with Anthony Hopkins.

Some books:

Constance by Patricia Clapp, a fictionalized account of the founding of Plymouth from Constance Hopkins' POV;

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O'Neill Grace and Margaret Bruchac with the Plimoth Plantation (this is a gorgeous book)

A round up of links:

The History of Thanksgiving by The History Channel; (BTW, this is the only program I see THC running -- I don't see anything about the Pilgrims, Plymouth or the Mayflower.)

Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum with great information; is affiliated with the Smithsonian; and has an excellent book store;

Oyate: has resources about Thanksgiving myths and "books to avoid";

From the Boston Children's Museum, information on the Wampanoag Indians;

Snopes gets to the truth about the myths and legends of Thanksgiving

and a round-up of urban legends and myths of Thanksgiving.

Anyone else have a favorite they want to recommend?


  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My favorite Thanksgiving movie is Smoke Signals, which is based on the Sherman Alexie book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. On Thanksgiving, I like to watch movies that portray Indians as something other than corn-planting good samaritans who are destined for cultural decimation.


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