Skip to main content
"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

The Meaning of Thanksgiving Day

Amy A. Kass & Leon Kass

Why do we have national public holidays? What does each—and what do all—contribute to our common life as Americans? The American Calendar explores the purpose and meaning of our civic holidays, showing how their repeated celebration helps unite and identify us as a people and attaches us to our country.

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day
Why does a proud, independent, and religiously diverse nation institute a day of national thanksgiving? Learn about the idea and practice of this most beloved holiday, celebrated in unison but in the privacy of our homes.

View PDF

Related Articles

Malala Has Won the Nobel Peace Prize – and It’s about Time

Lela Gilbert

Just about a year ago, the Western world held its collective breath, hoping against hope to hear that the courageous young Pakistani teenager, Malala ...

Continue Reading

How Authoritarian States 'Win' Internationally

John Lee

The 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea (or South Korea) concluded over the weekend – not that you would know about it given the lack of ...

Continue Reading

Liberalism’s Beleaguered Victory: “The End of History?” at 25

Abram N. Shulsky

About 25 years ago, the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revived a line of speculation that had lain dormant for eighty ye...

Continue Reading