With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

In America, there was a time when even 'Thanksgiving' was a fightin' word

In the runup to the Civil War, there was strong resistance in the South toward Thanksgiving itself.

“With the whole prospect of a showdown over the expansion of slavery, there was more and more rhetoric coming out of the South charging that Thanksgiving was pretty much a Yankee abolitionist holiday,” said James C. Cobb, professor emeritus of history at the University of Georgia.

While governors from Arkansas to Mississippi gradually embraced the idea of Thanksgiving in the 1840s, issuing Thanksgiving proclamations for their states, the idea of celebrating a traditional Puritan northern holiday became more contentious in the 1850s with the heightening temperature of the national slavery debate.

Read entire article at LATimes