Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.
Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.
Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.
On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.
A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.
The state of New York effectively has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the government figures out how to regulate the controversial drilling technology. Still, the state is benefiting from a fracking-fueled drilling boom in next-door Pennsylvania.
For decades, oil has been the fuel of choice for thousands of residential buildings in New York City. But now there are fewer chimneys spewing black smoke. That's because the city has a program encouraging owners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas.
The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.
The nasty storm that's dumping rain and snow from Texas all the way up the East Coast isn't just a mess for Thanksgiving travelers. It's bad news for Spider-Man, Snoopy and Hello Kitty. Those beloved comic characters are fan-favorite balloons in Thanksgiving parades, and the biggest and best known is in New York, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Winds in Manhattan have taken their toll in past years. You've probably seen the news footage, as in 1993.
If you are like many Americans, on thing now stands between you and your Thanksgiving turkey: A long trip by plane, train, bus or car. And stormy weather is slowing things down. Airports are experiencing delays, even some cancellations.
And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the story is no better on the road.
TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: This would of course be a bad day to travel, even in the best case scenario. So many trying to get to turkey tomorrow left early today.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. I'm not trying to scuttle the deal - those words earlier this week from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He's one of several high profile Democrats who voiced skepticism of the agreement announced over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program. His chief concern with the deal, that it lets Iran off the hook by offering some $7 billion worth of sanctions relief.