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Happy Thanksgiving!

A weekend of movies, parades, and football

By Tiffany Chaparro | null null , null

Robert Segal, of Brooklyn, helps pull a Dora the Explorer balloon through Times Square during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on November 24, 2005. (Photo: Julie Jacobson/AP Images)

November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving is a family favorite for many Americans. The holiday got an early start on Wednesday when President Bush pardoned Flyer and Fryer, the Thanksgiving turkey and the alternate. This year marks the 59th anniversary of the ceremony in which a turkey and alternate turkey are spared.

This Thanksgiving will also mark the television debut of another family favorite: March of the Penguins! The 2005 film won the Academy Award for best documentary. The first-time TV broadcast will include special extras with filmmakers Luc Jacquet and Emmanuel Priou, and will premiere on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

The 80th anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City will bring back a former queen, Helen Gross. Gross was crowned queen of the parade in 1926 and 1927. She worked for Macy's in the complaints department.

"I felt like a queen," Gross said. "I felt so important. My folks had family on every block of the parade route waving at me. I can hardly believe how big it is now compared with when I was in it."

Gross, who is now 101, remembered being in a horse-driven carriage and surrounded by ladies-in-waiting. This year, she and her family will sit in the VIP section at Herald Square, the site in New York City of Macy's headquarters.

The parade will also include a marching band with participants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Macy's Great American Marching Band will join Macy's famous balloons, including Snoopy and Scooby Doo, down the parade route to Herald Square.

Ready for Football?

This year's Thanksgiving games will be extra special, thanks to two halftime performances by rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty. He will perform during halftime in Detroit for the Miami Dolphins vs. Lions game, which starts at 12:30 p.m. ET. He will then perform in Kansas City during the Denver Broncos vs. Chiefs game. That game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.

The other game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys starts at 4:30 p.m.. It will be played in Dallas, Texas.

March of the Penguins will premiere on the Hallmark Channel (Photo: Jérôme Maison. © 2005 Bonne Pioche Productions/Alliance De Production Cinématographique)

Thankful History

Thanksgiving began in 1621 in New Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims, who had come from England the previous year, celebrated the harvest with Native Americans. The Native Americans taught them how to plant the various crops that would feed them throughout the harsh Massachusetts winters to come.

The holiday was celebrated on and off until President Lincoln made it official in 1863. He designated the last Thursday in every November a day of thanks for the blessings throughout the year. The holiday is now celebrated every fourth Thursday of November.

For more about the first Thanksgiving, check out Scholastic’s newest interactive feature online.


Critical Thinking Question

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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About the Author

Tiffany Chaparro is a contributing writer for Scholastic News Online.

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