Thanksgiving: The Great American Holiday


Nine out of ten Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and most do so around a family table. Food and tradition are the heart and soul of this most-loved, most-observed holiday. Thanksgiving has become the origin myth of America and the expression of deeply held American cultural ideals. As it considers the evolution of Thanksgiving, from the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621 to the present day, this program invites the audience to think about what this holiday and its food traditions mean for American culture and identity. This program is generously funded by the Illinois Humanities Council.

Following lifelong passions for books and for cooking, Penelope Bingham began accumulating cookbooks over 40 years ago. Her personal collection of cookbooks now exceeds 2,000 volumes. She is particularly interested in the stories American cookbooks of the last two centuries about American culture and identity.

Recorded live at the Highland Park Library on November 24, 2008 by Chicago Amplified of WBEZ Chicago Public Radio.