On September 28, 1863, Sarah Josepha Hale of Newport, New Hampshire, wrote a letter to President Lincoln. The author of Mary Had A Little Lamb and one of America’s first female novelists wrote, "The subject is to have the day of our annual thanksgiving made a national holiday." Lincoln, a great observer of the wisdom of others, quickly agreed and in 1863 Thanksgiving became our third national holiday alongside Washington’s birthday and Independence Day.
NHPR’s Sean Hurley set out to discover what Thanksgiving was really like during Sarah Josepha Hale's time. His tack: participating in a 19th century re-creation at the Remick Country Doctor Museum.