John Vara


Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving on the Fourth Thursday in November | Footnote to History

Did you know that Thanksgiving used to be the last Thursday in November? Learn why it changed in 1939, and how the public reacted.


Message in a Turkey | Stuffing the Ballot Box

In November 1888 a 22-year-old Vermont woman named Kate Gillette was plucking and dressing turkeys for the Boston market on her family’s East Randolph farm while waiting for a teaching job to start in December. Worried about how she would live on the $7 a week that the position paid, she tried a novel variant […]


Understanding New England Camps

To many, the word camp goes with the words fire and counselor. But to New Englanders, it’s a whole different concept. Around this time of year, you’ll hear many New Englanders announce, “We’re going up to camp for the month.” This could mean a trip of anywhere from 200 miles to 200 yards. A camp, […]