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'Masking' Memories: Thanksgiving In Disguise

Thanksgiving maskers, circa 1910-1915.
Bain News Service
/
Library of Congress
Thanksgiving maskers, circa 1910-1915.

These days it seems like the holidays are running together — at least commercially speaking — when Halloween masks start popping up around Labor Day and Christmas trappings are for sale in the stores before Thanksgiving.

In the stores it feels sort of like Hallothankshanachristmasgivingween.

But the jumbling of holidays is not exclusive to contemporary times. Turns out that people all across America used to wear costumes on or near Thanksgiving, which effectively created a mash-up of Halloween and Turkey Day.

So in honor of Thanksgiving Week, here is an encore presentation of a holiday story we posted — under a different guise — last year.


Follow me @NPRHistoryDept; lead me by writing [email protected]

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.