Americans are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, the middle entry in the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Winter holidays trifecta. Plate up with some table talk about the origins of the holiday, the reason we eat turkey, and what really makes people so sleepy after the annual meal.

Extra fixings: all stories contain free links to the supporting academic research on JSTOR.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Modern Invention of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving as we know it was deliberately invented in the nineteenth century.
Cranberries in a strainer

Seven Things You Might Not Know About Cranberries

They're red, tart, and mostly eaten at Thanksgiving. Love them or hate them, here are seven things you might not have known about the humble cranberry.
Still Life

Thanksgiving Is a Feast of Things Forgotten

Thanksgiving is a feast so complex and semiotically dense that things are very often forgotten and rarely go according to plan.
Let's Talk Turkey

Let’s Talk Turkey

First of all, why the name "turkey?"
Cubes of red jello on white background

How Jell-O Wobbled Its Way to Pop Culture Greatness

Jell-O reveals volumes about things that obsess, upset, and fuel Americans. 
Wooden Spoons

Why We Keep Our Utensils

They're more than just cooking tools.
Sleepy Bulldog

Why Does Eating Food Make You Sleepy?

Your turkey is not to blame.
The first Thanksgiving 1621

Thanksgiving Has Been Reinvented Many Times

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, Thanksgiving was very different from the holiday we know now.
Print