Thomas Jefferson celebrated the Fourth of July, but he did not celebrate Thanksgiving. Why? Because, in his time, Thanksgiving’s connection to religious observances conflicted with his belief in the separation of church and state.
As we prepare for what has become a quintessential (and largely secular) American holiday, enjoy a look at a new online resource, “Jefferson and Food,” as well as our articles, podcasts, and videos with a connection to turkeys and what Jefferson was doing in November other than celebrating Thanksgiving.
Jefferson’s original (and never sent) reply to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut explained his reasoning in not issuing a presidential proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday in an effort to maintain a separation of church and state.
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