We Gather Together - Creating an American Thanksgiving with Denise Kiernan

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So denise. I want to start by asking you to cover the early history of thanksgiving were all taught. From a very early age that the pilgrims landed in plymouth and shared a feast with the native americans living in the area. How close is that accurate. What's so interesting about thanksgiving as we celebrated versus thanksgiving as it has been on this planet for much longer. I'm always fascinated about how traditions and practices evolved the concept of gratitude and giving thanks has been around basically as long as humans have walked the earth. The word thanksgiving and even the practice of thanksgiving has been around for centuries before even conception of the united states of america. Yes the pilgrim's did land at plymouth. Yes the pilgrim's did have a meal with the woman. Og indians was. That proclaimed a thanksgiving now. When thanksgiving became a federal holiday in the united states of america was that event singled out as the reason for establishing that holiday. Now i want to be clear. I am not putting anything out there. That other people haven't said for a while and what's really interesting. I think is that every year. You'll see these. Hey here's the real. This part of thanksgiving and i think part of the reason. Is we tell these stories. We tell this. Essentially two kids in school and then later on when they get into high school or college or whatever we don't necessarily re contextualised and give them the full story so every year it's almost necessary that we keep trotting these things out and contextualisation of history is so important to really kind of look at everything that went into a particular event and thanksgiving again. Like i said you know. I am not the first person to come out. And say yeah. That's not exactly how it happened. But what i'm interested in. And what was one of the linchpins at making me want to do. The book we gather together was the ageless. Timeless concept gratitude view stevens. I'm and author here in madison wisconsin. And i'm thankful for men. Women working press in use of the people. The you don't have a great thanksgiving. There is an alternate true factual story about thanksgiving and gratitude and harvest festivals. And all of those things. And how. The actual holiday came to be in america and evolve and erica so i thought was an alternate entry and wouldn't that be fun and i'm interested. How thanksgiving celebrations changed in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. So a lot of what thanksgiving is rule out of things like harvest festivals. Which again go way. Way back thanksgiving's were often religious practices in various parts of the world. You would set aside a day sometimes for fasting and humiliation as they would say to give thanks for could be particular event. When i was working on we gather together. I came across some really interesting articles including some archives from the atoms stanley. john adams. John quincy adams. Abigail adams and john adams writes in his diary thanksgiving for the repeal of the stamp act. So like that was something. You would have a thanksgiving for declare thanksgiving for thanksgiving's for various wins in battle or days of general thanksgiving or like. I said fasting and humiliation so those sorts of advance existed outside of north america. What we now consider the continental united states they existing europe and those traditions were obviously brought over when people came over but the concept of having days set aside for saying thank. You is something that goes back a very very long time. Tell us about. Sarah josefa so sarah of a hail was so compelling to me because she was a young woman born in the early nineteenth century actually of the eighteenth century. She had no formal schooling but her parents instilled in her a deep deep love of reading and learning and she was obsessed with the written word. She married a man who shared her love of all these things. They used to have study hour together in the evenings. She lost him fairly early on in their marriage and so she was a widowed mother of five children and because of her desire to write ended up becoming one of the most influential editors in the nineteenth century. She edited to popular women's magazines. The american ladies magazine and then go. Jeez ladies magazine which was one of the most popular magazines in the nineteenth century. And just to be able to do that to me whether thing but what really moved me about her was that she had all of these things that she needed not wanted but like needed to do for herself and her children but she still found time to raise money for people who have less than she did and to bring people's attention to causes she thought worthy and her ten city was just. I mean seriously. I was interviewing her thinking good. What have i been doing with my time. You know how i feel like. I'm talking to her. You know when. I am interviewing her. I'm looking at what she wrote. I'm looking at what she was quoted as saying. I'm looking at the book she put out. I'm looking at the end. Policies that she curated

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