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Let your local library help plan a perfect Thanksgiving

The book Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving, by Laurie Halse Anderson, tells the story of Sarah Hale -- the woman credited with turning Thanksgiving into a national holiday.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota (in 2008) was the top turkey producing state in America!

"The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys -- one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the U.S. in 2007 -- were eaten at Thanksgiving."

So, which major historical figure or group should the turkeys be most upset? The list would have to begin with the Plymouth pilgrims and their Wampapnoag neighbors who chose turkey to grace the table of the first Thanksgiving.

The next major player was Abraham Lincoln, who after very sporadic Thanksgiving holidays set a precedent of holding the celebration yearly. Our feathered friends should be most angry with FDR. He was the one that transformed the custom into a national public holiday to be held on the fourth Thursday in November.

If the birds want to get real nit-picky, they probably should hold a grudge against Sarah Josepha Hale (the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb") because she fought for Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday in the mid 19th century.

Her story is highlighted below. Oh, and let's not forget those Minnesota turkey producers!

For wonderful Thanksgiving ideas, and stories about the holiday, come to the Detroit Lakes Library.

• Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving, by Laurie Halse Anderson. Way back when "skirts were long and hats were tall" Americans were forgetting Thanksgiving, and nobody seemed to care! Thankfully, Sarah Hale appeared. More steadfast than Plymouth Rock, this lady editor knew the holiday needed saving. But would her recipe for rescue ever convince Congress and the presidents?

• Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie, by Kathleen Curtin, Sandra L. Oliver and Plimoth Plantation. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, with 97 percent of Americans eating turkey on that day. But beyond the bird, the menu is as varied as the cultures of the nation's melting pot--and every recipe tells a story. "Giving Thanks" explores the delicious, fascinating history of Thanksgiving, complete with trivia, recipes, and an amazing collection of archival imagery of the holiday's history.

• The American Patriot's Treasury of Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, by Carrie Franzwa. This unique primer on recreating authentic elements of 1621 New England life brims with first-of-a-kind ideas for turning Thanksgiving into a time travel celebration.

Franzwa reveals a treasure trove of resources and tips for reintroducing early English and Native American culture to this cherished national holiday. Without overlooking our fragile interracial beginnings, Franzwa inspires readers to experience for themselves the charming pleasures of making period items, playing antique games, preparing and tasting early New England foods, using 1621 language, etiquette and music, and sitting at a table set in old-world style.

An essential guide for transforming Thanksgiving into something truly extraordinary!

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave. The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL). Information about LARL services is available online at