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Thanksgiving and Many Meanings

Thanksgiving day has had many meanings throughout American history. Four years after the end of the Civil War, Thomas Nast created this cartoon titled “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner.” Two symbols of America are depicted at the ends of the table. Uncle Sam carves the turkey. Columbia, a mythic female figure that symbolizes America, sits between an African

American and a Chinese man. Women, children and men from other countries and a Native American man are seated around the table. At the bottom of the cartoon, Nast expresses the meaning of his Thanksgiving Day cartoon – “Come One Come All” and “Free and Equal.”

The other image is a bobble head of Sarah Josepha Hale, “The Mother of Thanksgiving.”

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