Learning about Thanksgiving!

| November 22, 2011

Today there was a conversation amongst the first floor services desk workers about Thanksgiving. It seemed that almost everyone was in agreement that Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. We talked about how Thanksgiving can be a great excuse to relax, spend time with family, eat good food, watch football, and take a moment to recognize what we are thankful for. We started to wonder what Thanksgiving resources our TC library has in its collection.

The first book I came across in EDUCAT after conducting a keyword search on Thanksgiving is, Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday (Revisiting England) by James W. Baker.  The book description reads, In this, the first in-depth study of the most American of holidays, James Baker sweeps away lingering myths and misconceptions to show how this celebration day was born and grew to be an essential part of our national spirit. Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday opens with an overview of the popular mythos of the holiday before discussing its possible religious and cultural precedents. This classic Yankee holiday is examined in historical and contemporary detail that embraces everything from proclamations, sermons, and local and regional traditions to family reunions, turkey dinners, and recipes. Thanksgiving’s evolving face is illustrated with charming and often revealing period prints that chart our changing attitudes: the influence of Victorian sentiment in Thanksgiving’s development, Progressive utilitarianism, intellectual “debunking,” patriotic wartime reclamation, and 1960s-era protest. Thanksgiving remains controversial up to the present day, as Mayflower descendants, Native Americans, and commercial exploiters compete for the American public’s opinion of the holiday’s contemporary significance and its future status. This is an intelligent and illuminating introduction to a beloved holiday and a fascinating cultural history of America and Americana.

Another popular book in our collection about Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman. This book also aims to reveal the true Thanksgiving story, Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate with a Thanksgiving meal. But what is the origin of this tradition? Did it really begin when the Pilgrims and Native Americans got together in 1621 in Plymouth,Massachusetts? In her signature narrative nonfiction style, Penny Colman paints a fascinating picture of this cherished American holiday. She examines numerous Thanksgiving claims which were antecedents to the national holiday we celebrate today, raises the turkey question—does everyone eat turkey on Thanksgiving?—and shows Sarah Josepha Hale’s instrumental role in establishing the holiday. Get ready to delve into the rich past of Thanksgiving in an enlightening history that uncovers the true story.

We also have a number of children’s books that focus on Thanksgiving including The story of Thanksgiving by Robert Merrill Bartlett and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport, and Celebrate Thanksgiving by Deborah Heiligman.

Of course we can’t mention Thanksgiving without discussing food. We have a wonderful baking book in our collection, The art of fine baking by Paula Peck drawings by Grambs Miller . This book is a great baking resource for beginners and more experienced bakers. This book is sure to provide you with the perfect baked good for the holiday.

And if you are interested in seeing more about the books we have pertaining to football check out this post!

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break! We will be open on Wednesday until 3pm and we are open Saturday and Sunday.