Thanksgiving time on Walton's Mountain means a turkey shoot, a school play about early settlers, and the big meal. One year it also included a rekindled love affair and a life-threatening accident.



(created by) (as Earl Hamner), (teleplay by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode credited cast:
Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
Eric Scott ...
David W. Harper ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sian Barbara Allen ...
Keith Atkinson ...
Ivan Bonar ...
Dr. Haley


One particular Thanksgiving sees John Boy primping because Jenny is returning for the holiday. But an accident in the lumber mill throws a pall over the normally happy holiday as one member of the Waltons winds up in the hospital with a serious injury. Meanwhile the preparations for the big meal continue as Ben gets his chance to bring home the turkey for the first time; and Mary Ellen prepares to star in the school play as Pocahantas. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

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Drama | Family | Romance





Release Date:

15 November 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mamie 'Miss Mamie' Baldwin: Jason, you know about the Depression, I judge. And you know who has taken the burden of leadin' us out of it.
Emily 'Miss Emily' Baldwin: And is doin' a splendid job!
Mamie 'Miss Mamie' Baldwin: Well, to show our appreciation for all that he has done for us, we are sendin' President and Mrs. Roosevelt a jar of the recipe for Thanksgivin'!
Emily 'Miss Emily' Baldwin: You will help us, won't you?
Jason Walton: Well, I guess it's be downright unpatriotic not to!
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User Reviews

I Love The Thanksgiving Theme
23 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TITLE: THE THANKSGIVING STORY ORIGINAL AIRDATE: November 15, 1973 - 2 Hour Episode STORY: Earl Hamner Jr. TELEPLAY: Joanna Lee DIRECTOR: Lee Philips

PROLOGUE: "Next to Christmas, I suppose you'd have to say that Thanksgiving was our favorite time of the year. We may have been poor in worldly possessions but at Thanksgiving, more than any other time, I think we knew, we really knew, how great was our abundance. It wasn't until the cold November of my 18th year however, that I fully understood what abundance meant. It was a time of terrible questioning for all of us, and when it was over, we all knew a bit more about Thanksgiving."

SYNOPSIS: The women and children are busy cooking and preparing for Thanksgiving. John-Boy is excited that his University application is being processed but he's even more excited that his girlfriend Jenny Pendleton is coming back to visit for Thanksgiving. It has been a year since their whirlwind love affair. He offers to help the men cut lumber for an order but the loose belt breaks and hits him in the head. Although knocked down and bloody he pretends to be okay but he continues to get tremors and blurred vision. Later he goes over to the old Pendleton house to do some cleaning before Jenny and her stepmother Eula arrive but they show up a day early and surprise him while he is cleaning the fireplace. Much to his embarrassment, they see him covered in soot. John-Boy and Jenny awkwardly try to restart their relationship but a year apart has been a challenge. She has heard about his on and off relationship with Marcia Woolery. They do set aside their past and give it another go. When John-Boy goes and asks the Reverend for a recommendation for the scholarship, he falls to ground. He knows that people are going to get wise to his problems but he needs to keep going until he finishes writing the exam for his University scholarship. Jason gets a job for $0.50 a day helping the Baldwin ladies make more of the recipe. They are making a special batch that they want to give to President Roosevelt. The Baldwin's are impressed with Jason and feel that he would be a suitable heir since their father never had a son to leave his legacy with. Jason chooses not to tell his mother of his new employment which lands him in hot water when the ladies come over to the Walton's and offer to adopt Jason so that he can inherit the Baldwin's property and benefit from their financial help. Olivia is livid by the news but still she musters the strength to be civil and invite the ladies for Thanksgiving despite turning down their generous offer. Mary-Ellen tries out for the part of Pocahontas in the Thanksgiving play and wins the part over her nemesis Martha Rose who arrives at the casting call in a complete native costume. The family attends the play and Mary Ellen gives a solid performance. Ben is tired of being the middle child and wants some more responsibility. He asks Grandpa if he can hunt the turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner. They go up the mountain together but Ben misses the shot and end up bargaining with a turkey farmer for a large farm raised bird for the Thanksgiving dinner.

QUESTIONS: What happen with John Boy while taking the test? Why did John take his son to the doctors? Why did Miss Hunter go to the University?

EPILOGUE: "Several weeks were to pass before we were to know the decision of the scholarship committee. The announcement came by telegram. My name was on the list - my journey

MY THOUGHTS: This was my favorite episode. I love the Thanksgiving theme because I always dream of having a Thanksgiving dinner like that. I thought Richard Thomas was great in his acting of the head injury. I also like the return of Jenny. I especially like the walk up to the top of Waltons Mountain. Because of all of beauty of the mountain and the theme, I give this episode 10 weasel stars

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