“Children, eat slowly,” spoke Margret Reed as she stirred a pot of bubbling soup for her starving sons and daughters, “for this one day you may have all that you wish.” On this Christmas Day in 1846, Reed and other members of the Donner Party – a group of pioneers who infamously resorted to cannibalism while trapped for the winter in the Sierra Nevada – prayed for God to end their gnawing hunger. Together we’ll explore the fascinating story of the Donner Party, with a special focus on how they spent Christmas… and what they ate for dinner.
Please note: While we're not able provide a beverage for you during class, we encourage students to grab their favorite beverage - alcoholic or non-alcoholic - to enjoy during this virtual happy hour.
This class is appropriate for ages 16+.
This class will take place online through Zoom. Links for Zoom classes will be sent out by 5pm the day of the class. If you do not receive your link, please check your spam or submit an email through our contact page.
About the teacher:
Maya Rook is a historian and educator living in Rochester, NY. She holds an MA in American History from the University at Albany and specializes in blending critical insight with humor and empathy in her investigations of the dark, often absurd, aspects of the past. Maya has visited the site of the Donner Party camps in northern California three times and was the 2015 keynote speaker at the annual Donner Party Hike’s luncheon. She also co-created a play about the Donner Party entitled The Tower (2014) with the Anti-Matter Collective in Brooklyn.
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