tv Thanksgiving CSPAN November 24, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
say, why why are you there? why do you care? but the question goes back to, how does the community and up this way? why are there no resources to support these children? when i open up my school and they told me it was going to be in brownsville i already knew the numbers. but i also remembered that those children who went to vassar college, who then promise me they were going to go to college were an example of what was possible. i remember how my mother fought for me and so if these children did not have a parent who is going to provide the same expectation then i would have to become their parents. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org.
>> good evening and welcome. i'm ken ken weinstein, president and ceo of hudson institute. i apologize for the condition of my voice this evening. i really, really wanted to be here for the book form for melanie kirkpatrick's new new book, the holiday at the heart of the american experience. i want to thank our friends at the historic explorers club in manhattan, especially the executive director and our good friend judas and i also want to thank the viewing audience on c-span's book tv. hudson institute is a policy organization that is based in washington, d.c. we promote international leadership for the sake of security, prosperity, and
freedom. most of our work is in the public policy space. we do a lot of work on the future of security in asia, we look at fighting isis, talk about trying to overcome the challenges of the iran deal and so this book is an outlier of the product, will be thankful for many things as thanksgiving approaches like many of our -- it's extraordinarily timely coming at the end of which was a by all accounts a very challenging election season. there is the possibility of hope for a brighter future or if you're among those who felt as the country did disgruntled by
the election. as thanksgiving approaches us it's a time for all of us whether we are red america or blue america come together to celebrate the most american of all holidays for the, blessings that we share that is why think this book is an extraordinary bucket will make a wonderful holiday gift for thanksgiving and beyond, i urge everyone to purchase it and i will happily sign it at the end of the event, you you can order it online if you will. the book begins with some reflections. we talk about visiting a high school in queens, 850 students,
young men and women who just arrived in our country who are learning to be american and knowing it has to go this is something all of us all of us can identify with because all immigrants share a bit of the experience and all americans to the experience of the pilgrims who are looking for religious freedom in this country. i know in my family, my mother who came to this country at the age of eight was a refugee from nazi, germany and every thanksgiving was deeply moving because we felt great gratitude for what this country gave her and gave us. so this is deeply touching,
uplifting for those who do not not know melanie kirkpatrick she is the senior fellow the former deputy editor of the editorial page of the wall street journal, she is well known analyst of asia known for her first book which tells the incredible story of the brave men and women of asia's underground railroad and the efforts they do to help people escape from the maturity of north korea. now since no good deed goes unpunished also all of us here from her columns on wsj as a member of the wall street journal editorial board and
first document. two of them will have a conversation and they will open up for questions from the audience. without further do it's my great pleasure to turn it over to mary. [applause] >> i would just like to offer my thanks as well to the viewing audience on c-span. thank you for tuning inches and to and to all of you for being here. on a personal note this is a very deeply moving moment for me. melanie is a mentor of mine. somebody who i have always said admired and aspired to be more like as a journalist and as a person. it's wonderful to be here to celebrate her and have a chance to talk about her latest book. for those of us those of you
that don't know melanie, as a girl from buffalo going from japan in the 19 seventies, this is like going to the top of everest in 1800. it's wonderful to be here at the explorers club. it's in an unusual book i think it's in safe ground. in the best sense of the word brings together history religion and politics feminism, our purpose here today is to give you a sense of why melanie wrote this book, what interested you in the topic into touch on a few things. i wanted to start by asking you, ivory author has an obsession to write a book what obsessed you about thanksgiving. what motivated you to do the kind of work and research in this value?
>> i will answer that question in a minute. but first to the explorers club and to the hudson institute for having me here. i was very grateful for hudson support in writing this hudson book. and thank you very much can. ability to, if he is here in the room. thank you bill. there is also hudson trustee and senior fellow that i would like to thank. this trustee and senior fellow has a third role, he is also my husband his name is jack david and he was my first editor and my best editor. he never let me get away with anything and it could not have been as good of a book as it was without you. thank you. i like to stop my think my stepdaughter who is also here with us. jaclyn jaclyn did some of the research for me. she spent many hours looking at
microfilm on the public library leading 19th-century magazine and trying to find references to thanksgiving. thank you jaclyn. a master thank you you mary. it's wonderful that you're here. i appreciate you coming. >> don't thank me yet you don't know what questions to expect. >> the book first began as i look back at my thought processes on september 11, 2001i was in downtown manhattan that day and i saw the towers fall, like many americans in the wake of the terrorist attacks i began to think more and read more about what it means to be in an american. my search took me to william bradford's marvelous book a plymouth plantation which he was
the longtime governor of plymouth plantation. he wrote a wonderful book about the plymouth journey from england to holland and the mayflower to the new world. and and then the first few decades here. so i got interested in the subject and like many journalist i approached it from a journalist point of view and started to find out more about it. because i was in the happy position of the senior editor at the wall street journal i could indulge my interest by writing an occasional article on thanksgiving which i did. but when i retired from the journal and after writing the book on north korea i decided to turn again to thanksgiving. i realize that thanksgiving in my interest in the subject really covered many of the same things in the big issues i had
at the wall street journal. i was able to look at my interest in politics and economics. and in american culture, everything except for foreign affairs. i see this book as a totality of of a lot of what i learnt over my career. >> it's also very american thing that we have actual artifacts and we have first-hand accounts of thanksgiving where we are unique as a nation in that respect. >> if you go to pilgrim hall in plymouth, massachusetts you can actually see artifacts that were held by the pilgrims. one one of the argot artifacts that blew me away was william bradford's bible which is on display there. it is the geneva translation of the bible. which predated the king james version. the pilgrims believed this was a
more authentic translation than ones that followed. they were great hebrew scholars by the way. william bradford layton like taught himself hebrew so he could read the first books of the bible of the old testament. >> i am glad -- there are many things in the book but religion seems to me the strongest thing and the holiday is suffused with religious meaning. that did that drive from europe? did that come from a particular place? >> as i learnt the idea of celebrating a thanksgiving was a judeo-christian tradition. again, some people think the holiday may have come from the jewish holiday, i hope i was pronouncing it correctly.
and you don't really know but certainly protestant denominations and catholics in the pilgrims case they did have thanksgiving days, and usually associated -- but the religious days of thanksgiving that the pilgrims in early english settlers celebrated were for specific significant such as a rainfall that saved a harvest, or a military victory, or good health. so later that became it transformed into thanksgivings for general blessings. the 17th century this is controversial. some people argue that if you had a thanksgiving for general blessings you would take for
granted god's goodness and he would forget to be thankful so it wasn't until the end of the 18th century that massachusetts which was one of the holdouts began they celebrated annual thanksgiving. >> as he said thanksgiving came from the judeo-christian tradition but it wasn't always celebrated as a secular holiday. there is some sort of dispute when you celebrated thanksgiving as to who can participate in what it was for. you have an anecdote in the book, think it was about charleston, south carolina. in the jewish community that that they were left out a thanksgiving because it was proclaimed. >> they were. >> the governor of south in 1844 issued a thanksgiving proclamation that was exclusively for christians.
charleston is a jewish tradition, the first jewish american to be elected to a political appointment was a jew from charleston. in the first to die in the revolutionary war was from charleston. so they have a long historic tradition. they said we are not going to celebrate thanksgiving because you excluded us. there is quite extensive written debate about this. in the end, the governor was just completely entrenched in his viewpoint. he wrote back when the objective say no, america is a christian country. and this is only for christians. so they did not celebrated. others were excluded to such as unitarian. then then his term of office ended at the end of the
year and the new governor issued a new proclamation. >> let's go back to how we got our modern thanksgiving, george washington's proclamation, how did that come about. >> it george washington is an important figure in history. his first proclamation, the first proclamation of any president was his proclamation for national thanksgiving. this was in 17891789 and believe it or not it was controversial. the congress, the first congress have a meeting downtown and federal hall since march of 1789. september came along and they were ready to take a break. so so a congressman from new jersey, elias wanted to go to washington and asked him to issue this proclamation but
congress, members of congress objected to it and a debate ensued. ensued. they raised issues that are still relevant today. the first was they said he did not have the executive authority under the constitution to issue such a proclamation. so. >> that was jefferson's argument. >> when he became president he refused to issue a proclamation though he had issued proclamations when he was governor of virginia. so so that was the first objection. the second had to do with religious freedom. the congress had just debated the first amendment so the idea of separation of church and state was very much in their minds. some argued that religion, or thanksgiving was a religious holiday and there for the president should not issue a
proclamation. >> hundred washington walk that line? >> washington was wise as in so many things had a brilliant solution. he issued the proclamation and then he sent it to the governor of the 13 states with a cover letter requesting them to celebrate thanksgiving. not telling them to do so. there are two other or three other traditions. first he called called it for the last thursday of november, seconds 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 thanksgiving day. third, his proclamation was
entirely inclusive of all religions. thereby setting the example for future presidents to include all religions. >> so we have talked about the religious theme, where on the political theme, we see the tension between the states and the federal government so we also see the kind of cronyism emerging in thanksgiving when you write about fdr and his decision to change the date of thanksgiving. talk about that. >> fast forward to the 20th century. in 1939 fdr, nine fdr, in the middle of the depression had the dumb idea that if he moved the date of thanksgiving forward by one week it would extend to the christmas shopping season in the economy would boom. well americans that were be only
too happy to spend money they had it but they didn't have it. so it was a failure. in 1941 he admitted that. but along the way it was very interesting as to how americans responded. some people are some states jus said we will follow the presidents example. others were outraged. in 1939 you have the example of half of the state celebrating on the original, traditional date which was the last thursday of november. the other half celebrating on roosevelt's date to which it came to be known as frank said giving, after franklin roosevelt. in texas, be in texas announced it was going to celebrate on both days. >> what happened during the civil war? >> in the civil war lincoln and jefferson davis in the early
part of the civil war each issued proclamations for days of thanksgiving to give thanks for military victories. but, in 1863 in 1863 lincoln did something different. he issued a proclamation for a general thanksgiving following washington's tradition called on all americans, north and south to give thanks to the blessings for the country. if you think about that in 1863, one of the bloodiest if not the bloodiest years of our country's history where americans were killing each other, the battle of gettysburg had recently taken place. 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 and everybody out there should buy a copy including you in the viewing audience. thank you c-span. yes, you can clap for that. the book isn't just a history, it doesn't just teach about the religious roots of this are the politics of it which is reflected in our own modern era but there is these interesting figures you profile that pop up at different points. since were talking about the civil war, sarah hale which is a feminist theme in the book has anyone in the audience familiar with her? only a few. for the audience, can you talk a little bit about her and how she fits in to thanksgiving and what her role wasn't a holiday. >> she is widely known as the godmother thanksgiving.
she is an editor of the 19th century, born in in the late 18th century in new hampshire. her genius as an editor was that she believed, 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 and then they would take the material in the articles and publish them in american magazines but sarah jessica hill did something different. she started hiring american writers to write for her including nathaniel hawthorne, and edgar allan polo who went on to describe her, and i love this race is a woman of masculine energy.
[laughter] she was once editor of the most popular widely sick circulated magazine of the era. one of the great editors of american history. her passion was thanks giving. starting early on she believed the national thanksgiving to unify the country which was splitting over the issue of slavery. she would write about thanksgivings that was called by governors. she would publish fixed fiction set around thanksgiving to try to create a happy sentimental feeling for the holiday. she also publish recipes. she may have have been the first editor to publish recipes which again sounds pretty amazing. >> but they were american recipes with american in ingredients.
>> that's right. in addition to her work on the magazine she would write hundreds of letters over the decades of what we would call opinion makers today politicians and others it wasn't until 1863 that lincoln, she writes them asking them to support her campaign for national thanksgiving. finally in 1863 with lincoln he heeded the call and did so. >> she lived a long life too. i think she was 90 when she died. when asked late in life about this she said that she was very
happy that we had a national thanksgiving but there was one thing that remains and that was it had to be enshrined in legislation. and that cannot happen until 1941 when congress did itself and roosevelt signed it into law. under that law that is the law under which we celebrate on the fourth thursday of every november. >> as you can tell this is like drinking from a fire hose. you think the book was 400 pages but it is not. we have a religious aspect, political aspect. >> that's because i was used to writing editorials which are short. it's a great book. you should definitely definitely buy it. religion, politics, feminist figure and we have to talk about food. there's also a culinary history here too. what was thanksgiving like for the people who celebrated it? >> if? >> if you wanted to today what the pilgrims and the indians ate you'd have to put venison, corn,
mussels and oysters on your menu. there may. there may have been a turkey there, bradford references and the abundance of wild turkey in the area. but 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 no cranberries because if you have ever bitten into a cranberry you would understand but you would not have them without sugar. they had had no sugar. >> about apples? no apples. apples were brought later in the 17th century and so the phrase american as apple pie did not apply to the pilgrims. >> that was all life. >> well in a way.
>> the book also has readings in the back and it contains these two accounts that we have of the original thanksgiving and not one account. that meal that they celebrated and change through the years not just because of the food that we imported but the also the availability. i remember there's a passage in the, oysters, oysters some great to me but they are expensive today. but they were not always that way. >> and 19th century they were cheap food. so. so oysters were popular for thanksgiving. as were chestnuts which were also inexpensive before the great blights in the early 20th century that killed them off. if i may just speaking of the culinary history, one of my favorite stories has to do with president coolidge the first national thanksgiving of the
modern area every president after lincoln call before thanksgiving. starting with grants presidency if there was a turkey, man who raised turkey in rhode island he was known as the poultry king. every year he would send a turkey to the white house for thanksgiving. he did that from grant until the time he died in the wilson administration. but others took up after his death and the president started getting turkeys from around the country. mississippi had a different idea of a set president coolidge and animal they said had the -- flavor and they said it was a raccoon. the coolies family decided to turn it into a pet they name to rebecca. >> well that's a wonderful
aspect of thanksgiving, the the way that it is adapted by various parts of our country. when he think about the thanksgiving table in america today how does it differ? >> the main meal is of turkey and side dishes and lots of pies for dessert. it was taking shape in the 18th century. survey by the the end of the teen century there were reports that it was there. one of the things i enjoyed writing about in the dinner chapter has to do with who is invited to dinner. it seems that the tradition of being with family extends way back. also family had a larger and has a larger meaning. it includes the larger community and so there is a wonderful
letter from the revolutionary war in a woman in connecticut who writes about inviting the elderly women who have no husbands or children to dinner. inviting the orphans who are being tutored by the administer in the new neighbors. this resonates. this is the same today. in addition to that there is also the idea of thanksgiving generosity. i trace that back in the earliest example i could find was 1636 in massachusetts where the wealthier people were encouraged to invite her take care of the poor people on thanksgiving. >> how did the native americans for you thanksgiving? >> this was the most difficult chapter to research and write. the title of the chapter is day of mourning. that comes from and part indian
methodist minister who wrote in the early part of the 19th century referring to the fourth of july, but there are some native americans who starting in the 70s when the red power movement took over gather every year in plymouth and they fast during the day and then they marched through town. they see thanksgiving is the beginning of the tragic the tragedy that befell the native american peoples. but that's unusual. there's also a native american celebration on thanksgiving morning at dawn on alcatraz. this started out in the 70s when it was called on thanksgiving and it had a very militant tone. >> very california. >> yes. now now it has turned
into something different. people go over on the ferry, the first ferry which leads from san francisco around 430 and they get to alcatraz and they have a spiritual a spiritual ceremony, there are hundreds of people there at dawn and then, they began to come back around nine to san francisco so they get home in time to turkey the turkey in the oven and to watch football. >> i'm going to wrap up here in a couple of minutes so we can open up the floor to questions. but it is kind of amazing that we have talked for this long and we have not mentioned football, how long has football been associated with thanksgiving, and why do we associate football with thanksgiving. >> the first in the modern series took place in 1863. the first american football game
in 1869. and then the first thanksgiving football game was a few years later in the 70s, 1870s. so they been together for a long time. actually. >> and not always happily. the other interesting thing is the historical tidbits that you get such as the san francisco disaster, speaking of the less west coast. >> the game ended in disaster because some of the people who did not have tickets decided to watch the game of the roof of a nearby building in the building collapsed. still the largest sporting disaster in our history. >> one thing i wanted i wanted to say about football is that this was such an interesting
debate. people would discuss how in the newspapers whether football was detracting from the true meaning of thanksgiving day. of course as we know football one out but i think the answer was generally no, there is is room for both football and family and religion in this holiday. >> it's an important holiday for americans that i know when i was living abroad i still celebrated thanksgiving. did you do that? so to buy a turkey in hong kong. >> if you found one it was incredibly expensive, you lived in hong kong see you know this
too. why celebrate it halfway around the world? sarah joseph she believed that wherever americans gather they will celebrate thanksgiving day. so it's not a patriotic holiday per se but it is a celebration of american values and american heritage. as ken was saying earlier all your ancestors came here and learned in appreciation and the native americans have their own thanksgiving ceremonies which i write about in the book too. >> i do not want to occupy the stage. will open up and because this is being broadcast on c-span i want you to state your name and your question.
please raise your hand and we will call upon you. it can be a simple question or complex question. anyone out there in the audience we have a gentleman here, in the back of the microphone is coming to. >> my name is stafford reynolds can you go into depth with the fallout with the originally indians can give us your most accurate about what happened there and the strieff. >> i can't really do that because my focus is on thanksgiving, [inaudible] the later years. >> at the time of the first thanksgiving in 1621 the
relationship between the english settlers and the indians are very good. they were peaceful, they were friendly then this moment in time at least pointed in the way the diverse people that we become today as you indicated it would all collapse in the local indians in the english settlers began to fight each other. at that moment moment in time it was a peaceful moment. and then the indians had the upper hand. they were the ones to taught the pilgrims how to plant a missile was different from the soil they were used in farming.
they told them where the fishing was good and many other things. >> could the pilgrims have survived without the indians. >> there was 102 or 103 on the mayflower. in only 52 or so on the day of the first thanksgiving. we have like baby cradles and things like that. >> it's an amazing statistic. there are 18 plymouth lives on the mayflower but by the time of the first thanksgiving only float forward living. >> the next question the gentleman in the back your name in question please. you. >> i think new york city and thanksgiving and the dutch. >> the dutch had a relaxed attitude toward thanksgiving.
then the pilgrims or the later english settlers did. there's one declaration before thanksgiving that a quote in the book it called on people to attend religious services in the morning and then a party in the afternoon. >> more question from the audience. we have a question up front were going to ask our hearty fellow here with the mike your name and question please. >> did you do research on canadian thanksgiving and how and why did that go. >> that's a much more recent phenomena and probably copied from the united states. it doesn't have the connection it cannot be traced back to the
founding event the way it can be in america. it doesn't have other residences in our history or culture. there is one thing i discovered and i can't prove it but at the time of the revolution, many of the loyalist fled to halifax. there is evidence to suggest that they took the custom of thanksgiving with them. there was some celebration of thanksgiving there. >> one of the very early thanksgiving's by the way that predated the arrival in our continent took place in the bay in the 1500s where martin held the thanksgiving aboard a ship and what would now be the canadian province. >> that is another fantastic
aspect of the book. there actually parts of the country that claimed they had the first thanksgiving, not just that bay. >> of course texas. >> a great state of florida. >> and virginia, one of my favorite stories about the early thanksgiving has to do with virginia and berkeley near richmond claims they had a thanksgiving before plymouth. in fact, they did. but when jfk issued his thanksgiving proclamation in 1962 he referenced massachusetts, his home state. a virginia state senator objective. he sent a telegram to the white house said no, virginia was was
the site of the first thanksgiving. so it fell to the presidents assistant to reply to this man, who was it? the historian -- junior who is working at the white house at the time. he wrote back and said there is a bias toward new england and the white house. and you're absolutely right they celebrated this first and we will correct it. and sure sure enough he did. in 1963 kennedy had a proclamation which referenced it they celebrated in virginia massachusetts. and then texas they just celebrated both. >> wonderful. >> the gentleman in the back.
>> if you notice that originally they had venison, mussels, corn, wended the food that we are more familiar with now such as pumpkin, p compat come to the scene into the hold significance? the food that we traditionally eat now really took hold in the 19th century. that is one 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 all of the pies for example in some of the literature of the day, including a pie i have never heard of called marlboro pie which is the kind of apple pie with custard and lemon in it. another thing that was very popular in new england in the 19th century is chicken pie,
tanks giving was never complete without a chicken pot pie. so we can see how some of these traditions develop, serrated jessica hale publish recipes that were associated with thanksgiving and still are today. >> i guess we also have paintings that memorialize thanksgiving as well showing us what we need and what the tradition was. the gentleman here right in the middle we will rely on our microphone. >> my question relates to -- in terms of the portion of now it think of thanksgiving we think of a big feast but it sounds like from your contacts that thanksgiving was more bringing family family together, where the portions us/has they were today as they were then? >> the impression i get from reading some of the literature is that thanksgiving were even more bountiful than, then what
we did have on our table today. the accounts, the 22 first-person accounts of the first thanksgiving in both of them are both of them are focused on the bounty of the country and all of the food that was available to them at that time. the indians brought a gift which would have served the people for several days of such a large amount and that is one of the things the pilgrims are giving thanks for was the abundance of food but then as you read accounts of the dinners in the late 18th and early 20th century the thanksgiving dinner was served into courses, what harriet beecher stowe spoke
about how she did not like the french style of courses for meals. instead what they would do is put out all of the meats, there is is many different kinds of meats, there could be venison, beef, pork, a roast, turkey, chicken pie and lots of side dishes. that was one course. and everybody would help themselves. according to one account i read i love the description of this, those who cannot get a seat around the corner would stand around and lean over and then the second course was dessert. their marvelous accounts and letters but also in fiction of all the many pies that were served. in the 1960s this food historian interviewed people around the country and a new
englander said to her that it would be an embarrassment to serve fewer than three pies at thanksgiving. you could not serve an apple pie because that was much too ordinary. so i think the tradition about he has been with us from the beginning. >> three pies is a better age. was there ever a vegetarian thanksgiving? >> i'm sure that exists. the founder of the american vegetarian society do not like thanksgiving dinner. he thought it was not good for health and so he opposed it. that that was a man named alcott. then you go a little forward and there was a mr. kellogg from the kellogg family that found a kellogg's cereal who he and his wife were great vegetarians.
they promoted a vegetarian thanksgiving meal. >> i don't concur anyone else in the room for questions? >> this lady in the front please from the explorers club. >> not to worry. hello, i'm judith, i am wondering if there times were there tended to be movement in specific areas of people in those areas proposing certain native foods that were common in that area? and that were different for at least for different cuisines involved, for example example in the carolinas there certain kinds of wild birds so was there a series of time of local tradition? >> very much so. using regional cuisine and ethnic cuisine.
when i spoke with teenagers at newcomers high school and asked them what they're going to have for thanksgiving dinner they all had turkey, or they all wanted turkey, i don't, don't know whether their parents were going to succeed but they mentioned native foods there are familiar with as being part of their meal. >> i'm getting hungry, i don't know know about the rest of you. >> over giving you a lot of exercise there, sorry viewers at home you cannot see this. >> let me change the subject a bit, the book is his torah when it's fascinating. one thing you don't don't go into is the thanksgiving after kennedy's assassination. i wanted to get your reflection as you remember,
how different it was because and people came together to an unbelievably painful moment. >> i don't remember the thanksgiving that year, i do remember it after september 11 and the meaning it held for a lot of us. that gives me an opening to say something i have been stressing when i speak about thanksgiving is that when i think about this year as you indicated can in your open remarks i think this year thanksgiving could 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 like in the readings for thanksgiving day comes from benjamin franklin
who called thanksgiving day a day of felicity and a time to give thanks for the blessings of our liberties and civil and religious. i hope that americans will be able to come together over thanksgiving dinner and that it will mark a time when we can move on. >> a beautiful thought. we have time for one or two more questions, yes no,. >> naming question please and will try to get in a few more. >> tommy miller, sounds like there's controversy around where the first thanksgiving was that i'm curious was there an intention of creating a holiday or did it start as this one-time day of coming together?
>> the pilgrims would've not called the feast of 1621 a thanksgiving. for them the first thanksgiving they celebrated in the new world was two years later when there is a rainfall that save their harvests. it wasn't until the colony of connecticut the proclamation in 1639 that this is a very important step to the holiday that we celebrate today for a couple of reasons, one it was by the civil authorities to it was supposed to be annual, and three as i mentioned earlier it was for general blessings, not for specific blessing. this was a controversy of theological concept. >> i think we have time for one more and then we will release
you to eat. >> please wait until the microphone comes to you because we want everybody who was watching to hear. >> who is the first president that part in the turkey. >> that tradition kinda goes back to lincoln. his son todd had a pet turkey that was intended for their christmas dinner. the turkey's name is jack. >> and the boy asked his father he would spared the turkey and lincoln agree. but the contemporary pardoning of the turkey probably started with the george hw bush, as i
mentioned after the poultry king of rhode island died, lots of people started sending turkeys to the white house for thanksgiving. including these various national federations of turkey growers. when president george hw bush was in the white house the turkey growers presented him with one of these turkeys. it it was a great but a lot. everybody loved it. outside the white house there is a protest going on by animal-rights supporters who did not like the idea of turkey and thanksgiving. so president bush had the clever idea of pardoning the turkey. so that is without tradition came from. >> join me and giving me a hand to melanie.
[applause] >> i am sarah, chairman and of hudson. thank you for your probing questions, and melanie thank you for a terrific book. i have to tell you i was out of town and got home, my flight was delayed i got home at 2:00 a.m. on sunday night. they're a copy of the book had been delivered to me, i should have gone straight to sleep but i thought i would just take a look at it. an hour later i was still awake reading it. it is not only fabulous, it's a page turner. so i encourage everybody to buy it. i think there are copies outside. they also want to mention that i think the ultimate chapters called helping hands. that is about basically using thanksgiving to make the world a better place.
on the examples you cite have to do with help in helping those less fortunate who may be needed turkey or need something on thanksgiving. i would also also like to give a little plug and say that hudson helps the world in a little different way. we are not necessarily helping an individual who needs a turkey in 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. if you feel like being generous to hudson that is a good way to make the world a better place. thank you all very much for a fantastic book. happy thanksgiving. [applause] [inaudible]
>> every weekend to book tv brings you 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors. here is is what's coming up this weekend. saturday at 6:45 p.m. eastern, david baron circuit judge for the u.s. court of appeals for the first circuit provides a history of first circuit provides a history of the debate between the executive and legislative branch over the constitutional right to declare war, in his book, waging wars, the clash between president and congress. joining him at the constitution center of philadelphia is peter bruegger,. >> the two branches are in a dance with each other all of the time. congress checking the president, backing down from the president, president pushing congress and the president being worried about taking it too far in getting to class wide with congress. >> on afterwards guardian journalist gary young looks at
gun deaths in america over 24 hour timeframe. the chronicle of ten short lives. >> he is interviewed by a staff writer from the atlantic. >> it's not possible to only talk about guns, but a broader societal thing which counts people out, dehumanizes them and that makes it -- that's already been accounted for. but i think there is a real problem once he starts saying will he was in a student, then there is a grade that you can get where it would be worthy to be killed. >> go to book tv.org for for the complete we can schedule . . .