Little House On The Prairie: Melissa Gilbert Gives Details About Why There's No Thanks Giving Episode

Fans of Little House on the Prairie have probably wondered why there isn't a Thanksgiving episode. Many TV fans look forward to Thanksgiving episodes of their favorite shows, so you might have done a quick Internet search and come up empty-handed. 

Here's what Melissa Gilbert said about why the show didn't celebrate this holiday.

On "Little House on the Prairie," they had Thanksgiving.

Little House on the Prairie didn't have a Thanksgiving episode, says Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls. But Thanksgiving wa

s talked about in Season 3 Episode 6 of Little House on the Prairie, called "Journey into the Spring." Also, a turkey named Tom by Carrie had a small role in that episode. Carrie fell in love with the turkey and asked Caroline (played by Karen Grassle) if he could sleep in her bed. 

The turkey was more like a pet to her than a meal. In this episode, Mary (played by Melissa Sue Anderson) and Laura are trying to find a way to talk to Carrie about what will happen to the turkey they bought. They don't know how to tell her that Tom will be cooked and eaten for dinner one day.

In episode 7, Laura asks her father, Charles, for help (played by Michael Landon). Laura tells her father about Carrie, "She thinks that turkey is a pet; she doesn't know we're going to eat it." Laura's grandfather finally agrees to take the turkey back to the farm where they bought it and let it go. 

Why there wasn't a Thanksgiving episode of "Little House on the Prairie" In her book, Gilbert writes that Thanksgiving became a national holiday just a few years before the story of the Ingalls family. Gilbert says that's why there wasn't a Thanksgiving episode.

 The TV show Little House on the Prairie is based on a book that tells the story of the Ingalls family in 1874 and 1875. George Washington sent out a proclamation on November 26, 1789, that said it was a day for giving thanks. The National Archives say that Thanksgiving wasn't always held on the last Thursday of November until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln made the day a national holiday.

 In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a bill that changed the Federal Thanksgiving holiday from the last Thursday of November to the fourth Thursday of November. He wanted to be clear because some months have five Thursdays in November (November 2018 is one example). "The Years in the Little House"

Fans of Little House on the Prairie finally got to see the Ingalls family have Thanksgiving dinner in a three-hour special called The Little House Years. This 1979 special was about the Thanksgiving dinner the Ingalls family had in 1879. After dinner, Laura Ingalls thinks back on important times in the life of her family. 

Food on the set of The Little House on the Prairie came from many places. Gilbert says in her book that they often ate Kentucky Fried Chicken. On the menu were also Dinty Moore beef stew and Pillsbury biscuits.


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