tv History Bookshelf Melanie Kirkpatrick Thanksgiving CSPAN November 25, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm EST
the donald, lessons from america's philosopher in chief." and on sunday at 11:00 a.m., rebecca fraser and her book "the mayflower, the families, the voyage, and the founding of america." on american history tv on c-span3 at 8:55 p.m. eastern. penn state university history professor matthew rest all on the u.s. capitolare and architecture's. sunday at 10 p.m., the ground begins her morning for the dwight d. eisenhower memorial in washington dc. this weekend on the c-span networks. bookshelf history melanie kirkpatrick talks about her book thanksgiving, holiday at the heart of the american experience. in which she looks back four centuries to provide a history of thanksgiving. this is regarded at the explorers club in new york city in 2016. it's about one hour.
>> good evening and welcome. i'm can weinstein, resident and ceo of hunter and institute. for the condition of my voice. i really wanted to be here for the book forum for melanie kirkpatrick's book thanksgiving, the holiday at the heart of the american experience. i want to thank our friends at the historic explorers club, especially the executive director and our good friend. i also want to thank the viewing audience on c-span's book tv. institute is a policy organization, we are based in washington dc.
we are dedicated to voting u.s. national leadership for the sake of security, prosperity, and freedom. most of our work is in the public policy space. insecurity of work in asia. isis,ked at fighting talked about trying to overcome the challenges of the iran deal. we -- this book is an outlier. we have to be thankful for many things. that isit is a book extraordinarily timely coming now at the end of what was by all accounts a very challenging election season. whether you fell among those, i include myself among them who feel that there is the possibility of hope for a
brighter future, or you are among those who felt the country is disgruntled by the result of the election. as the holiday approaches us, it's an opportunity for all of us to come together in our families, whether we are in red america or blue america. come together perhaps to celebrate the most american of all holidays and express our deep gratitude's for the common blessed -- blessings that we share. that's why i think this is an external rebook, and would make a wonderful holiday gift for thanksgiving and beyond. it and she will happily sign it at the end of the event. the book begins with some reflections that i found profoundly moving. visiting aks about high school in queens, newcomers
high school 850 students from 64 different countries. women who arrived in our country, who are learning to be american. clients -- strategic dj -- melanie has to teach a class. it's something all of us can identify with because as she points out, all immigrants share experience and all americans do, that the programs left four and experience here. my mother, who came to this country at the age of eight was a refugee of nazi germany. when she was alive, everything's giving was deeply moving, we have helped keep gratitude for what this country gave her, gave us. and the immense blessings.
this book is deeply touching, uplifting, it's a wonderful examination for the history of the holiday and the lessons that it teaches us. for those of you who don't know her well, she is a senior fellow assistant, former deputy editor of the editorial page of the wall street journal. she is well known analyst of asia and known for her first from north korea, which tells the incredible story of the brave men and women he had asia's underground world and the incredible efforts they do to help peoples capability. since no good deed goes unpunished, we have decided to six her good friend, also known to all of us here from her articles on wall street journal from her appearances on wsa opinion live. as a member of the wall street
journal editorial board and my personal hero for sucking it to mika brzezinski. conversatione a about the book and we will open up some questions for the audience. do, thanky further you. >> thank you. would like to offer my thanks to the viewing audience out there on c-span, thank you for tuning in. and to all of you for being here. note, this is a very deeply moving moment for me. melanie is a mentor of mine. she is somebody i have always admired and aspired to be more like as a journalist and as a person. it's really wonderful to be here to celebrate her and to have a about her latest
book. it's also a very important place for us to be, because for those of you who don't know, as a girl from buffalo going to japan, this is like going to the top of everest in 1800. it's wonderful to be here at the explorers club. thanksgiving is an unusual book. in really the best sense of the word, it weaves together history, religion, politics, cultural issues, feminism. our purpose here today is to give you a sense of why melanie wrote this book, what interest you do in the topic, -- what interested you in the topic. i wanted to start by asking, every author has an up session. you have to have an obsession to write a book. what obsessed you about thanksgiving? the motivated you to do kind of work and the research
that resulted in this? >> first, let me say a few thank is. and thexplorers club hudson institute for having me here. i was very grateful for hudson's support in writing this unusual book. thank you very much. also a hudson trustee and senior fellow that i would like to thank. role,rustee has a third he is also my husband. david, he wasck my first editor and my best editor. he never let me get away with anything. it couldn't have been as good a book as it was without you. i would like to thank my
stepdaughter, who is also here with us. she did some of the research for me. she spent many hours lookingi wy at microfilm at the public library and reading 19th-century magazines trying to find references to thanksgiving. thank you, jacqueline. and last thank you, it's wonderful you are here. i appreciate you coming. >> you don't know what questions to expect. on book first began september 11, 2001. i was in downtown manhattan that day, i saw the towers fall. like many americans in the wake of the terrorist attacks, i began to think and read more about what it means to be an american. my search put me to william "offord's marvelous book
plymouth plantation, he was the longtime governor of them is plantation. he wrote this wonderful book about the journey from england to holland on the mayflower to the new world. and the first few decades here. i got interested in the subject. journalist, i started trying to find out more about it. because i was in the happy position of being a senior editor at the wall street journal, i could indulge my interest by writing an occasional article on thanks giving, which i did. when i retired from the journal, after writing the book on north korea, i decided to turn to thanksgiving. thanksgiving and my interest in the subject really covered many of the same
things i had covered as a journalist at the wall street journal. i was able to pursue my interest in politics, religion, economics to a certain extent, and in american culture. -- i seeg except for this book as a totality of a lot of what i have learned over my career. >> it's also a very american thing that we can see to examine, we have actual artifacts and first-hand accounts of thanks giving. you write about a museum you visited. hall inu go to pilgrim plymouth, massachusetts, you can see artifacts that were held by the pilgrims. one of the artifacts that blew me away was william bradford's bible. it's on display there, it is a geneva translation of the bible,
which he dated the king james version -- which predated the king james version. more people believe this was a more authentic translation than ones that followed. william bradford late in life taught himself hebrew, he would read the first books of the bible of the old testament in the original language, a language that god gave. >> i'm glad we've turned to religion, there are many themes in the book, that religion seems to me the strongest theme. the holiday is fused with religious meaning. did that derive from europe? did it come from a particular place? >> as i've learned, the idea of celebrating thanksgiving was a judeo-christian tradition. then, some people thought holiday may have come from the
jewish holiday of suck off, i hope on pronouncing that correctly. don't really know, but certainly protestant denominations and catholics celebrated, villages, ceremonies of eggs giving in the old world. in the pilgrims'case, they had thanksgiving days usually associated with the communal meal. but with the pilgrims and early english settlers celebrated were for specific benefits and since, such as the rainfall that saved a harvest, or a military victory, or good health. -- we transformed it to thanksgivings for general blessing. this was controversial. some people argued that if you had a thanksgiving for general
blessings, you would take for granted, and you would forget to be thankful. it wasn't until the end of the 18th century that massachusetts, which was one of the holdouts, began to celebrate annual thanksgivings for general blessings. >> thanksgiving came from the judeo-christian tradition, it's thought, it wasn't always celebrated as a secular holiday. there was some sort of dispute when we celebrated thanksgiving as to who could participate and what it was for. you have an anecdote in the book, the jewish community thought they were left out of thanks giving because it was proclaimed, -- they were? how did that come about? >> the governor of south carolina in 1844 issued a thanks giving proclamation that was
exclusively for christians. charleston has a venerable jewish tradition, the first jewish american to be elected to a political appointment was a jew from charleston. the first to die in the revolutionary war, the first jew was in charleston,. they have a long historic tradition. they objected and said we are not going to celebrate thanks giving because you excluded us. there's quite an expensive written debate about this. in the end, the governor was completely entrenched in his viewpoint. he wrote back saying america is a christian country, this is only for christians. they didn't celebrate it, others were excluded, too, such as unitarians.
then his term of office ended at the end-of-the-year, the new governor issued a new proclamation. t> let's go back to how we go our modern thanksgiving. george washington's proclamation, how did that come about? >> george washington is an important figure in the history of thanksgiving. on his first proclamation, the first proclamation of any president, was his proclamation for a national thanksgiving. believe it or not, it was controversial. congress had been meeting in downtown federal all since march of 1789, september came along and they were ready to take a break. jersey waman from new to washington and ask
him to issue this proclamation. congress objected to it, and a debate ensued. they raised issues that are still relevant today. they said he did not have the executive authority under the constitution to issue such a proclamation. >> was that jefferson's argument? >> when he became president, he refused to issue a proclamation using this argument. he had issued proclamations when he was governor of virginia. that was the first objection. the second objection had to do with religious freedom. the congress had just abated the first amendment, the idea of separation of church and state was very much in their mind. was --gued that religion
thanksgiving was a religious holiday, therefore the president should not issue a proclamation. >> how did washington walk that line? >> washington, wise as in so many things, he had a brilliant solution. he issued a proclamation then sent it to governors of 13 states with a cover letter requesting them to celebrate thanksgiving. not telling them to do so. -- there were two other first he called for the last thursday of november. second, on thanksgiving day he made a charitable contribution. usually he was quiet about such things, but this time he did so publicly, because i think he wanted to set an example for people to think of the poor on
thanks giving day. third, his proclamation was entirely inclusive of all religions, thereby setting the example for future presidents to include all religions. >> we have talked about the religious theme, or on the political thing, we see the tension between the states and the federal government. we also see a kind of cronyism thanksgiving, when you write about fdr and his decision to change the date of thanksgiving, talk about that. >> fast forwarding to the 20th century. had the dumb idea that if he moved the date of thanksgiving forward by one week, it would extend the christmas shopping season and the economy would boom.
americans would have in only too happy to spend more money if they had it, but they didn't have it. it was a failure. admitted that. along the way, it was very interesting as to how americans responded. some people, some states just said we will follow the president's example. others were outraged. of1939, you had the example half of the state celebrating on the original traditional day, the last thursday of november. the other half celebrating on roosevelt's day which came to be known as, franksgiving, after franklin roosevelt. in texas, they announced they were going to celebrate both dates. >> what happened during the civil war? lincoln andvil war,
jefferson davis in the early part of the civil war, each issued days of proclamation four days of thanksgiving to give a thanks for military victories. in 1863, lincoln did something different. he issued a proclamation for a general thanksgiving following washington's tradition, and called on all americans, north and south, to give thanks for the blessing of the country. if you think about that, one of the bloodiest years in our country's history where americans were killing each other, the battle of gettysburg had recently taken place. and here was lincoln, asking people to be thankful. i think what he was doing was pointing the way to what the country was going to be like after the war.
this is a fabulous book, everybody should buy it copy. thank you c-span. just history, it doesn't teach you about the religious roots of the politics of it, which are reflected in our own modern culture. there's also these interesting figures. that you profile at different points. -- of them is a lady named since we are talking about the 6 -- the civil war, sarah josephine hill, is anyone in the audience similar with sarah joseph a hell? only a few. audience, and you talk a little bit about her and how she fits into thanksgiving? what her role was in our holiday? >> she was widely known as the
godmother of thanks giving. she was an editor of the 19th century, she was born in the late 18th century in new hampshire. thatenius as an editor was she thought -- americans wanted to read about american things. believe it or not, this was unusual in the early part of the 19th century. back then, magazine editors would wait for the magazines from london to arrive, then they would take the material from the british magazines and publish them in american magazines. different, sheng started hiring american writers to write for her, including nathaniel author, and edgar allen poe, who went on to describe her as a woman of
masculine energy. she was editor of the most widely circulated magazine of the pre-civil war era. one of the great editors in american history. her passion was thanksgiving. on, she believed a national thanksgiving would be a way to unify the country. it was splitting over the issue of slavery. her magazine,n, she of she would run editorials, writing about the different states that had a giving, because thanksgiving was called by governors. thatould publish fiction was sent around thanksgiving, trying to create a very happy, sentimental feeling for the holiday. she also published recipes, she may have been the first editor to publish recipes, which sounds
pretty amazing. >> american recipes using american ingredients? >> that's right. in addition to her work at the magazine, she would write hundreds of letters over the decades to what we would call opinion makers today, politicians, and others who had influence. 1863, sheuntil writes them, asking them to support the campaign for a national thanksgiving. in 1863, lincoln did her call. >> she lived a very long life, until her 80's or 90's. >> she did, i think she was 90 when she died. when asked late in my about this, she said she was very happy that we had a national thanksgiving, but there was one thing that remained which was it
had to be enshrined in a legislation. that didn't happen until 1941, when congress did so, and roosevelt signed into law. under that law, that's the law to which we celebrate the fourth thursday of every november. >> this is like thinking from a fire hose, you would think it's 400 pages, but it's not. we have a religious aspect, a political aspect. >> that's because i was used to writing editorials, which are short. >> it's a great book, you should definitely buy it. religion, politics, a feminist figure in sarah joseph a hail. we haven't talked about food. there's also a culinary history here, too. what was thanksgiving like for the people who originally celebrated it? >> if you wanted to eat today what the pilgrims and the indians ate, you would have to put venison and corn, oysters,
and muscles on your thanks giving menu. there may have been a turkey there, bradford in his description of the first theksgiving references abundance of wild turkey in the area. there was no pie, because they did not have wheat flour, there were no potatoes, which had not made their way to this part of new england yet. and there were no cranberries, probably november is, because if you have ever bitten into a cranberry, you would understand why you would not have them without sugar, and they had no sugar. no apples, apples were brought later in the 17th century. the phrase american as apple pie did not apply. >> that was all a lie? >> in a way.
has readings in the back, it contains these two accounts we have of the original thanksgiving, no longer counts -- not long accounts? >> that meal that they celebrated changed through the years, not because of the food we imported, but also the availability. there's one passage where you talk about -- oysters some great to me, but they are expensive, but they weren't always that way. in the 19th century, they were cheap food. >> oysters were popular for thanksgiving. as were chestnuts, which were also inexpensive before the great plate in the 20th century that killed them off. speaking of the culinary history, one of my favorite stories has to do with president coolidge. after lincoln named the first
, then hethanksgiving passed away, every president after has called for thanks giving. starting with grant's presidency, there was a man who raised turkeys in rhode island. he was the poultry king of rhode island, he would send a turkey to the white house for things giving. he did that -- thanksgiving. he did that until he died in the wilson administration. his cudgel after his death, and the president started getting turkeys from around the country. mississippi had a different idea, they sent president coolidge an animal that they said had a to some flavor, it was a raccoon. family decided to turn it into a pet, who they named rebecca.
>> that's another wonderful aspect, and a very american aspect of thanksgiving. the way it has the way that it's adapted by various parts of our country, you know, when you think about a thanksgiving table in america today, how does it -- how does it differ? >> pretty similar, lots of pies for dessert was taking shape in the 18th century. certainly by the end of 18th century, reports that it was there. one of the things i enjoyed writing about in the dinner chapter, there's chapter and dinner, has to do with who was invited to dinner. the tradition with being with family extends way back but also family had a larger and has a larger meaning. it includes the larger community
and so there's a wonderful letter from the revolutionary war era of a young woman in connecticut who writes about unsighting the elderly woman who had no children and inviting the orphans who were being tutored by the minister and new neighbors and this resinates. this is the same today. in addition to that, mary, there's also the idea of a thanksgiving generosity and i trace that back the earliest example i could find was 1636 in massachusetts where the wealthier people were encouraged to take care of people on thanksgiving. >> how do native americans view thanksgiving? >> this was one of the most difficult chapters for me to research and write.
the title of that chapter is day of mourning which comes from part indian minister who wrote in the early part of the 19th century referring to the fourth of july and another holiday, but there are some native americans who starting in the 70's when the red power movement took over gather every year in plymouth and fast during the day and march through town and see thanksgiving as the beginning of the tragic, the tragedy that the native american people. but they are unusual. there's also a native american celebration on thanksgiving morning at dawn in alcatraz island. this started out in the 1970's. . kind of amazed you haven't washed mention the wall. how long is the then associated with thanksgiving and why to reassociate associate football
with thanksgiving? as i said, the first in the modern series of national things it needs to place in 1863 in the first american football game took place in 1869. and then the first thanksgiving football game was a few years later in the 70s. 1870s. so they've been together for a long time. and not always happily. the other interesting thing about this book are the little historical tidbit is that you get such as the san francisco disaster of 1900, speaking of the last coast. on thanksgiving day, what happened? >> was a football game that ended in disaster and some of
the people that did not have tickets decided to the building collapsed and is still the largest disaster in our history. -- as i said, the first in the modern series of national things it needs to place in 1863 in the first american football game took place in 1869. and then the first thanksgiving football game was a few years later in the 70s. 1870s. so they've been together for a long time. >> and not always happily. the other interesting thing about this book are the little historical tidbit is that you get such as the san francisco disaster of 1900, speaking of the last coast. on thanksgiving day, what happened? >> was a football game that ended in disaster and some of the people that did not have tickets decided to the building collapsed and is still the largest disaster in our history.
one thing i wanted to say about football as it became a moral issue for a lot of people. this is such an interesting debate and people are discussed in houses of worship, in the newspapers and whether football was detract and furniture made in a thanksgiving day. and of course as we know, football one out and i think the answer generally was now, there is room for football and family and religion than this holiday. it's an important holiday for americans. when i was living abroad i still celebrated thanksgiving. did you do that and if so why? >> i certainly did. one of the challenges of being able to find a turkey in hong kong or tokyo. and if you found one, and is incredibly expensive. he lived in hong kong. you know this, too.
>> why celebrated -- celebrate it halfway around the world? >> sarah joseph hale said she believed wherever americans got there, they will celebrate a thanksgiving day. it is not a patriotic holiday per se, but a celebration of american values and american heritage. all of our ancestors, and mustard native american came here and learn to an appreciation of our country partly through thanksgiving. that native americans had their own thanksgiving ceremonies, which i read a little bit about in the book, too. >> i don't want to occupy the stage. we'll open it up to questions and answers.
because this is also being broadcast on c-span, i'm going to ask you to state your name and a question. not a statement, a question. please raise your hands and we will call upon you. it can be a simple question or a complex question. anyone out there in the audience? if you don't ask, i'll keep asking questions. they have a gentleman in the back. the microphone is coming to you. go ahead and talk familiar name, please been a question. >> safford reynolds. can you go into some depth about the fallout of relations between the original indian and the plymouth folks. can you give us your most accurate summary of how many years and kind of what happened there they seem to ensue thereafter. >> i can't really do that. i focuses on thanksgiving, not on the later years. but i will say the following, which is that at the time of the first thanksgiving in 1621,
relations between the english sublayers and the wampanoag confederation of indians were very good. there peaceful. they were friendly and as they -- i think this moment in time at least pointed the way to the diverse people we have become today. of course a few decades later as you indicated, it would all collapse with the local indians and english settlers. they began to fight each other. the indians held the upper hand they were the ones who taught the pilgrims how to plant in the soil that was different from the soil they were used to finding. the fishing was good and many
other things. >> would the pilgrims have survived without the indians? >> i think not. only half the pilgrims survived the first winter. there were 102 or 103 on the mayflower and only 52 or so on the day of the first thanksgiving. we have those artifacts in plymouth. >> this is an amazing statistic. they're on the mayflower. by the time of the next thanksgiving only for living. >> next question. this gentleman in the back name in question. we'll cut you off in the mouth of the statement. here, theksgiving
dutch in our city. >> the dutch had a relaxed attitude bears one declaration -- black started to toward thanksgiving. -- a relaxed attitude towards thanksgiving. it calls on people to attend religious services in the morning and then party in the afternoon. >> that sounds like modern-day new york. more questions than the idea. -- from the audience. we have a question up front. your name and question. >> did you do research on canadian thanksgiving? >> canadian thanksgiving is a much more recent phenomenon and probably copied from the united states.
it doesn't have a connection with history. it can't be traced back to an event the way it can be in the residences in the culture. i can't prove that, but at the time of the revolution, many of the loyalists in the boston area fled to halifax there is evidence to suggest that they took the custom of things giving with them and that there was some celebration of things giving their. one of the very early thanksgiving, by the way, speaking of canada that predated the program arrival on our continent to place in the 1500 for martin frobisher how the thanksgiving aboard a ship and what would now be the canadian provinces.
>> moderators privilege here. that's a fantastic aspect of the book. there actually parts of the country that claim to have the first thanksgiving. texas. of course texas. >> florida claims the couple. >> great state of florida. >> various home state. virginia. one of my favorites always about these early tanks giving has to do with virginia and berkeley plantation near richmond claims that they had a thanksgiving before clement. in fact they did. when jfk issued his thanksgiving proclamation in 1962, he referenced massachusetts, his home state. well, a virginia state under a decade to send a telegram to the white house say no, no, no comer
junior was decided the first thanksgiving. so it fell to the presidents assisted to reply to this man. who was it? -- who is working in the white house at the time. what did he do? he wrote back in that there is a bias in the white house. you're absolutely right. virginians celebrated a thanksgiving first and we will correct this next year. sure enough we did. in 1963, kennedy had a thanksgiving proclamation which referenced the thanksgiving celebrated in virginia and massachusetts and know that their state is mentioned first. >> in texas they celebrated both? wonderful. more questions from the audience.
>> tom rosenblatt. you notice that originally we ate venison muscles, corn. , when did the food that we are more familiar with now such a pumpkin and pecan pie and do their whole significance? -- do they hold significance? >> the food that we traditionally eat, you know, now, really took hold in the 19th century. that's when a lot of traditions became embedded in our culture. turkeys were widely produced, so they became affordable to middle-class people. you can read accounts of other pies for example in some of the literature of the day, including a pie i have never heard a called marlborough pie, which was a kind of apple pie and it is very popular in new england
in the night and century and -- apple pie with custard. another thing that is popular in the new england -- in new england in the 19th century and into the 20th century as chicken pie, a thanksgiving. so we can see how they can develop that they publish recipes that were associated with thanksgiving and still are today. >> we also have paintings memorializing thanksgiving, showing what the tradition was. this gentleman here right in the middle, we are going to rely on our microphone. >> my question kind of relate in terms of the portions where we think a thanksgiving we think of this big feast. it sounds like from your context that thanksgiving was more getting family together. for the portions of large as they were today than they were back then? >> yes.
the impression i have been reading some of the literature is that thanksgivings were even more bountiful. they are two first-person accounts. them are very much focused on the bounty of the , or the continent. and all the food that was available to them at that time. indians brought the gift of five dear, which would've served the people for several days. that's one of the things the pilgrims were giving thanks for was the abundance of food. but then as he read accounts of the dinners in the late 18th and early 20th century and the thanksgiving dinner was served
in two courses. harry beecher stowe spoke about how she didn't like the french style of courses for meals. what they'll do is put out there could be bennison, beef, pork or chicken pie and lots of side dishes and that was one course and everybody would help themselves. according to one account i read, i love the description of this. those who couldn't get around would lean over and help themselves. the second course was dessert. there are marvelous account of letters, but also in fiction of all the many pies that were served. in the 1960s, they interviewed
people around the country in a new england are said to her that it would get embarrassment to serve fewer than three pies for thanksgiving. and you could not serve an apple pie because that was much too ordinary. the tradition of bounty has been with us from the beginning. three pies. h. >> was their vegetarian thanksgiving? >> i'm sure that exists, too. the founder of the american vegetarian society did not like thanksgiving dinner. he thought it was not good for our health and so he opposed it. that was a man named olcott. doesn't mr. kellogg of the kalat family that founded kellogg cereal who he and his wife were great vegetarians and they promoted a vegetarian things in the mail.
-- vegetarian thanksgiving the -- thanksgiving meal. >> i don't concur. anyone else in the room for questions? lots of questions. excellent. this lady in the front from the explorers club. just behind you. >> i am wondering in various periods of time there tended to be specific areas of people in those areas proposing search native foods that were common in that area and that they fared, at least for a time different cuisines evolved. caroline at their certain kind of wild herds. i various periods of time, local tradition. >> they are very much local
traditions and also using a cuisine when i spoke with the teenagers had newcomers high school and asked what they were going to have a thanksgiving dinner. they all had turkey are they all wanted turkey. i don't know whether their parents are going to succeed in this dimension data is. asy mentioned native food being a part of their meal. >> i'm getting hungry. i don't know about the rest of you. we are giving a lot of exercise there. sorry at home if you can't see that that the microphone guys running everywhere. >> to change the subject a bit, the book is fascinating. one thing you don't going to is the thanksgiving after president kennedy's assassination that i
want to get reflection of the remember how different it was because when i've read about it in the past it's obviously very challenging time for the country and people came together and it was really painful moment. >> i remember his assassination, but i don't remember the thanksgiving that year. i do remember after september september 11th and the meaning of help for a lot of us. that gives me an opening to say something i've been stressing when i speak about thanksgiving, which as this year as you indicated in your opening remarks, this is thanksgiving could be a real healing moment for our country, for people to think about what unites us, not what divides us. one of the quotations i particularly like in the readings for thanksgiving day comes from benjamin franklin who called thanksgiving day a day of
giving thanks for our -- the lake and the very liberties of civil and religious. i hope that americans will come together over thanksgiving dinner and that it will mark a time when we could move on. >> beautiful thought. we have time for one or two more questions. yes, no? right in the back. name in question, please. we'll try to get in a couple more. >> tonya miller. it sounds like there's controversy on first
thanksgiving was. was there an intention of creating a holiday that would continue into perpetuity to start eventually as a one-time day of coming together. >> the pilgrims would not have called the feast in 1621 of thanksgiving. and for them the first thanksgiving that they celebrated in the new world was two years later when there was a rainfall that saved their harvest. it wasn't until the colony of connecticut issued a thanksgiving proclamation in 1639. this is a very important step to the holiday we celebrate today break up what reasons. one was promulgated by civil authorities rather than religious authorities. she was supposed to the annual entry as i mentioned earlier was for general blessings, not for specific blessing. this is a controversial theological subject.
>> we have time for one more and then we were the ctp. this lady right here in the front. we will wait until the microphone comes because we want everyone watching on c-span, thank you. please go buy the book. >> first president to pardon a turkey? >> tradition kind of goes back to lincoln. his son, todd had a turkey that was intended for their christmas dinner. the turkey's name was jack. and the boy asked his father if he was there the turkey and lincoln agreed.
but the contemporary pardoning of the turkey probably started with george h.w. bush. as i've mentioned after the poultry king of rhode island died, lots of people started sending turkeys to the white house for thanksgiving including these national federations of turkey growers. when president george h.w. bush was in the white house, the turkey growers presented him with one of these turkeys. it was a great photo op. everyone loved it. outside the white house there was a protest going on by animal rights supporters who did not like the idea of turkey on thanksgiving. so president bush have been very clever idea of pardoning the turkey. so that is where that transition as.
>> please join me in giving a hand to train for her. and sarah stern, chairman of hudson and u2 are magnificent. thank you for your probing questions and thank you for a terrific book. i have to tell you i was out of town and got home. my flight was delayed. got home at 2:00 a.m. sunday night. a copy of the book had been delivered to me. i should've gone straight to sleep but i thought i would just take a look at it. hour later i was still awake reading it. it's not only fabulous, it's a page turner. thanksgiving, yeah. i encourage everybody to buy it. there's copies outside.
i want to mention that the ultimate chap or is called helping hand about basically using thanksgiving to make the world a better place than the examples you cite really have to do with helping those less fortunate who maybe need a turkey or need something on thanksgiving. i would like to give a little plug in and say that hudson helps the world in a little different way. we are not as helping an individual who needs a turkey and his pot, but we are helping to make policy that changes the world for the better. so i encourage you to go to hudson.org and find out what we do and if you feel at being generous, that's a good way to make the world a better place, too. thank you very much for a fantastic book and happy thanksgiving. [applause] [inaudible
here from the country's best-known american history writers every saturday at 4 p.m. eastern. any of our watch programs anytime, visiting our website c-span.org/history. all weekend every weekend on c-span3. the c-span buses on the 50's capital tour. they now visited 12 state capitals. our next stop for the 50 capitals tour is tallahassee florida. we will be there on december 6.
>> up next on lectures in history, university of north -- teaches how the united states change from the reconstruction period to the progressive era. >> both of them immigrants who required u.s. citizenship, so decision -- citizenship that brought extraordinary opportunity. by becoming citizens they .njoyed equal status the united states in particular. one of the reasons is that the germans in general face less antagonism than the irish. people may not trust you.
it's always difficult. then there are matters of degree. program one entire lectures of history. only on c-span3. >> up next on lectures in history, university of north carolina at chapel hill professor joseph glatthaar teaches about the korean war and civil-military relations. his class is about an hour. prof. glatthaar: today i'm going to talk about the korean war and we're going to talk a little bit about civil military relations. last time we met, we talked about the cold war and the development of containment.