Thanksgiving Wars

How have Americans fought over Thanksgiving? And what can the holiday tell us about democracy and national styles of celebration? On this episode of Now & Then, “Thanksgiving Wars,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman explore past debates over the holiday, from early congressional disputes during the Washington administration, to writer Sarah Josephus Hale’s advocacy to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, to the various 20th-century battles over the cultural placement of Thanksgiving. How do these fights reflect competing visions of our national story? What role should the government play in supporting Thanksgiving? And how are our current divisions over vaccinations and our collective past reflected in the holiday?

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