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How Pumpkin Pie Sparked a 19th-Century Culture War

23 Nov

 

Thanksgiving in Union camp sketched on 28 November 1861, believed to be the camp of General Louis Blenker.

Thanksgiving in Union camp sketched on 28 November 1861, believed to be the camp of General Louis Blenker. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ LC-DIG-PPMSCA-21210

Although meant to unify people, the 19th-century campaign to make Thanksgiving a permanent holiday was seen by prominent Southerners as a culture war. They considered it a Northern holiday intended to force New England values on the rest of the country. To them, pumpkin pie, a Yankee food, was a deviously sweet symbol of anti-slavery sentiment.

So notes Ariel Knoebel in her engaging post at Atlas Obscura. You can read her entire post here.

 

 

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Five myths about American Indians

22 Nov

Thanksgiving recalls for many people a meal between European colonists and indigenous Americans that we have invested with all the symbolism we can muster. But the new arrivals who sat down to share venison with some of America’s original inhabitants relied on a raft of misconceptions that began as early as the 1500s, when Europeans produced fanciful depictions of the “New World.” In the centuries that followed, captivity narratives, novels, short stories, textbooks, newspapers, art, photography, movies and television perpetuated old stereotypes or created new ones — particularly ones that cast indigenous peoples as obstacles to, rather than actors in, the creation of the modern world. I hear those concepts repeated in questions from visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian every day. Changing these ideas is the work of generations. Here are five of the most intransigent.

So begins Kevin Gover’s post. You can read the rest of it here.

For Thanksgiving feasts, celery and olives used to be featured

20 Nov

Celery and olives.

From the late 1800s until the 1960s, these two foods — which usually only come together in the murky depths of a Bloody Mary — were a must on seasonally decorated tables in homes across America.

So begins Hilary Sargent’s concise food history of celery, olives, and Thanksgiving meals. Read the rest of her account at Boston.com here.

Poll: Native Americans See Far More Discrimination In Areas Where They Are A Majority

15 Nov

At NPR, Joe Neel reports on a new poll of Native Americans. You can read the story here.

More than half of Native Americans living on tribal lands or other majority-Native areas say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination when interacting with police (55 percent) and applying for jobs (54 percent). That’s according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.More than half of Native Americans living on tribal lands or other majority-Native areas say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination when interacting with police (55 percent) and applying for jobs (54 percent). That’s according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Battle Between Baseball and Cricket for American Sporting Supremacy

24 Oct

We could have had a very different World Series. 1859 was the turning point. Read all about it in Daniel Crown’s engaging post at Atlas Obscura: The Battle Between Baseball and Cricket for American Sporting Supremacy – Atlas Obscura

Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate

20 Oct

A rooster named Buster roller skates and ice skates. See the 1952 photos and hear the story by the then-photographer of the LA Times: From the Archives: Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate – LA Times

The Religious Roots of America’s Love for Camping

17 Oct

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Summer 1868 passed as an unremarkable season at Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The weather was fine, the scenery delightful, and the usual array of 200 to 300 recreational hunters and anglers passed through the small settlement on their way into the wild lands beyond. The summers of 1869 and 1870, however, were an altogether different story. The weather was more or less the same, and the scenery continued to entrance, but instead of a handful of sportsmen came a multitude of men and women from points east and south to enjoy America’s newest recreation—camping. Almost to a person, they had been inspired by what today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we recognize as the watershed book in the history of American camping: the first comprehensive “how-to-camp” guidebook, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, which had been written in April 1869 by…

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