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The story behind our holidays is fascinating, partly because they change so much, but also tell us a lot about ourselves. On Thursday, Nov. 16, a week before the big day, we’ll relate some fresh research into the unpredictable story of a Knoxville Thanksgiving. It began as a regional holiday, but for decades what was Thanksgiving in parts of New England was just a chilly Thursday here. But something happened in or around 1846 that suddenly got us talking about it. We’ll outline how Whig politicians, church leaders, enterprising immigrants, and a couple of journalists from New Hampshire had an influence on how Knoxville celebrates the holiday. You might want to take notes for a shopping list; we’ll also offer a surprising description of an authentically intoxicating 19th-century Knoxville Thanksgiving dinner.
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