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Melanie Kirkpatrick on the Full Story, Meaning, Significance and Myths of America’s Greatest Holiday, Thanksgiving!

Listen to the podcast below!




If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s more to Thanksgiving than turkeys, shopping and football, then do we have the Thanksgiving Show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Melanie Kirkpatrick, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, former deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and the award-winning author of Escape from North Korea, and her latest Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience.

And that’s just what I want to talk with her about today, what’s the true holiday at the heart of the American Experience.

That plus we’ll talk about Franksgiving, Unthanksgiving, Mary had a little lamb, why pumpkin pie’s a myth, why no one landed at Plymouth rock, and why in the world a writer in Hong Kong might think Thanksgiving is Independence Day.

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Melanie Kirkpatrick is a writer-journalist based in Connecticut and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. She contributes reviews and commentary to various publications, including the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, for which she worked from 1980 until mid-2009. Her books, Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience (2016) and Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad, are published by Encounter Books.

At The Wall Street Journal, Melanie was deputy editor of the editorial page from 2006-2009 and a longtime member of the editorial board. As a deputy editor, she was responsible for the editorial page’s coverage of international issues and oversaw the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal in Asia and Europe, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the U.S. columnists on foreign affairs. She wrote editorials and op-ed articles on foreign affairs.

From 2001-2006 she was the editorial page’s associate editor, responsible for the daily Review & Outlook (editorials) column. Before that, she was op-ed editor of the paper. During her career at the Journal, she also oversaw the launch of and other online products, managed the editing and production of books published by the Journal, and served as a member of the board of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.

Melanie was a co-editor of the Journal’s series, Whitewater, a six-volume collection of Journal commentary during the Bill Clinton Administration. She was also co-editor of several editions of the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by the Journal and the Heritage Foundation; the Index evaluates and ranks the world’s economies.

Melanie spent 10 years in Asia, working for The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and, prior to that, for a division of Time-Life Books in Tokyo. She received the 2001 Mary Morgan Hewett Award for Women in Journalism from the Friends of the East-West Center in Honolulu. The annual award recognizes a journalist who has demonstrated commitment, hard work and expanding influence throughout her career.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. She was a Gannett Newspaper Foundation Fellow in Asian studies at the University of Hawaii. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a trustee emeritus of Princeton in Asia, an internship program in Asia for young graduates of American universities; a member of the advisory board of the Human Freedom Program of the George W. Bush Institute; and a director of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Ms. Kirkpatrick is married to Jack David, who is a senior fellow and trustee of the Hudson Institute.


Melanie Kirkpatrick Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Key Topics:

  • What’s the worst turkey sound ever?
  • Why a book on Thanksgiving?
  • What happened in Newcomer’s High in Queens?
  • What happened in 1621 to the Mayflower expedition?
  • Why Plymouth Rock was a myth
  • What happened during the first winter?
  • What were the gratitude practices of people from the Mayflower?
  • What was the first thanksgiving like?
  • What was the miracle of Squanto’s life experiences?
  • What was the original significance of thanksgivings
  • What’s the history of thanksgiving and Native Americans
  • What happened at Alcatraz?
  • Who else claimed to have the first thanksgiving dinner?
  • What did George Washing do for Thanksgiving?
  • Why Lincoln had two Thanksgivings in one year?
  • Where did Mary Had a Little Lamb come from?
  • Who was the Godmother of Thanksgiving?
  • Who was Sarah Josepha Hale?
  • How did football and thanksgiving come together?
  • What’s Franksgiving and what happened in 1939?
  • What’s the connection between Thanksgiving and generosity?
  • What’s the history of giving and Washington and Thanksgiving?
  • What does over-eating have to do with thanksgiving?
  • What pie wasn’t at the first thanksgiving dinner?
  • When did Turkey’s get connected with Thanksgiving
  • What does succotash have to do with thanksgiving?
  • What’s the practice of five kernels of corn?
  • Illustrated by Artist Kathryn Messenger on the book :o)

Related Podcasts:

How to Bring Happiness & Sanity to the Holidays through Mindfulness (Bruce Langford, Mindfulness Mode Podcast)

How to Go from Stressed Out to Thriving This Holiday Season (CJ Liu, Fire It Up with CJ)


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