Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.
Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.
Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.
On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.
A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.
The state of New York effectively has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the government figures out how to regulate the controversial drilling technology. Still, the state is benefiting from a fracking-fueled drilling boom in next-door Pennsylvania.
For decades, oil has been the fuel of choice for thousands of residential buildings in New York City. But now there are fewer chimneys spewing black smoke. That's because the city has a program encouraging owners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas.
The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.
The nasty storm that's dumping rain and snow from Texas all the way up the East Coast isn't just a mess for Thanksgiving travelers. It's bad news for Spider-Man, Snoopy and Hello Kitty. Those beloved comic characters are fan-favorite balloons in Thanksgiving parades, and the biggest and best known is in New York, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Winds in Manhattan have taken their toll in past years. You've probably seen the news footage, as in 1993.
If you are like many Americans, on thing now stands between you and your Thanksgiving turkey: A long trip by plane, train, bus or car. And stormy weather is slowing things down. Airports are experiencing delays, even some cancellations.
And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the story is no better on the road.
TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: This would of course be a bad day to travel, even in the best case scenario. So many trying to get to turkey tomorrow left early today.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. I'm not trying to scuttle the deal - those words earlier this week from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He's one of several high profile Democrats who voiced skepticism of the agreement announced over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program. His chief concern with the deal, that it lets Iran off the hook by offering some $7 billion worth of sanctions relief.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:56 pm
Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Our email inboxes, like yours, have been in Operation Overload this week, glutted with sweet potato souffle recipes, deals of the day, countdowns to Black Friday with BIG SAVINGS and FREE SHIPPING, doorbuster coupons, notices of Santa bar crawls, and more directions for the use of cream cheese than an old Paula Deen cookbook.
Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.
Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:56 pm
A turkey caught a break in Washington today. President Obama bestowed the traditional presidential pardon to a turkey named Popcorn, who now becomes the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey. It's the 66th anniversary of the tradition that keeps a lucky turkey or two off the dinner table.
In bestowing the official pardon, the president also observed the tradition of cracking a few jokes at the short outdoor ceremony at the White House, where he was joined by his daughters, Natasha and Malia.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:29 pm
The Obama administration announced it is delaying until November 2014 a requirement that small businesses shop for health insurance via the troubled federal HealthCare.gov site, which has been blamed for many problems since its launch last month. The shift applies to businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:13 pm
If you tuned in to Wednesday's Morning Edition, you may have heard NPR host/special correspondent Michele Norris' conversation with Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil of Sacramento, Calif., in the latest story from The Race Card Project.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 10:03 am
Contrary to what some Americans believe, Hanukkah traditionally isn't one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar. Host Michel Martin speaks with Dianne Ashton, author of the book Hanukkah in America, about how and why the holiday has gained more importance in this country over the decades.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:21 am
While those in the western half of the nation will mostly enjoy fair skies on this Thanksgiving Eve, we regret to repeat that for millions of Americans east of the Mississippi it's going to be a messy busiest-travel-day-of-the-year (otherwise known as Getaway Day).
The indoor shooting range at Archery in the Wild in northern Colorado used to be dominated by camouflage and hunters. But on this Saturday morning, the archery range is dotted with ponytails and 7-year-old girls like Y'Jazzmin Christopher.
The popularity of The Hunger Games series is fueling an interest in the sport of archery, particularly among girls. Some sporting equipment outfitters say they've seen a big boost in bow and arrow sales since the film series began in 2012.
Squash is the ultimate Thanksgiving food, not turkey. So says Chris Kimball, host of the PBS showAmerica's Test Kitchen.
"Of all the things they served in that first Thanksgiving, there might not have been turkey," Kimball says. Early revelers may have dined on small birds or venison. "The one thing we know they did have was squash. So, if you want to go back to the first Thanksgiving, this is the item to start with."
NPRcontinues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project,where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris dips into those stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity forMorning Edition.
We've been reporting a lot lately on the troubled rollout of President Obama's signature health care law. But at the same time, there are rumblings of a major shift in the way companies offer private health insurance to workers.
It involves what are called "private health care exchanges." These are similar to — but completely separate from — the public exchanges you've heard so much about.
Some experts say this new approach soon could change how millions of Americans receive their health care.
Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.
The United States military flew two B-52 bombers into air space that China recently designated as an air defense identification zone. The showdown is part of a larger dispute involving China and Japan and territorial rights in the East China Sea.