Ye Olde Turkey Trek

Dave Granlund/

The Mayflower carried more than 100 colonists from England to the New World in 1620—and it was anything but smooth sailing. The two-month journey was plagued by storms, seasickness, and accidents, as when a passenger was swept overboard. The Pilgrims later celebrated the first Thanksgiving with Native Americans. 

Thanksgiving travel these days can still be rocky. About 48 million Americans journey at least 50 miles for the holiday—and almost all do so by car. This cartoon compares the Pilgrims’ cross-Atlantic trek with modern Thanksgiving traffic woes. Study it, then answer the questions.

1. What, if anything, do the two journeys have in common?

2. Why might the cartoonist have compared these two situations?

3. How might the cartoonist feel about Thanksgiving travel?

4. How did he use exaggeration to help make his point?


What comes to mind when you think of celebrating Thanksgiving? What was the holiday’s original purpose? How has the tradition changed over time? Explain your answers.

Stahler ©2017 Jeff Stahler. Reprinted by permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION for UFS. All rights reserved.

Muskets—long-barreled shotguns—were the commonly used firearm when the Founders wrote the Second Amendment. What might they think of today’s weapons?

Mike Smith/King Features Syndicate/Cartoonist Group

Some people say self-driving cars are a bold innovation. How does this cartoonist use a distracted driver to say that driverless cars are nothing new?

Lesson Plan (1)