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Newport native Sarah Josepha Hale was somewhat of a Renaissance woman in an age when few women worked outside of the home. She was already a seasoned poet, novelist, and editor when she became editor of Godey's Lady's Book, which she shaped into a highly influential women's magazine. During her 40-year tenure at Godey's, Hale became a tastemaker for fashion, home design, and food. Her legacy most detectable today is her championing national Thanksgiving celebrations (in Hale's time, it was an unofficial holiday celebrated mostly in New England). Hale regularly wrote pro-Thanksgiving letters to a succession of presidents; Lincoln was in office when Thanksgiving became an official national holiday. Articles in Godey's featured recipes for Thanksgiving that are now inextricable with the classic menu – stuffing, turkey, and pumpkin pie. Oh, and just to solidify her cultural impact that much more, Hale also wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb," which was published in 1830.
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It's only 18 miles long – the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. state – but New Hampshire's Seacoast is a popular area for tourism, including the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. The 10-acre historic village has buildings (the oldest dates back to 1695) and exhibits showing examples of daily coastal life from multiple periods. Of note are the popular hands-on hearth cooking workshops, which teach participants the finer points of cooking on an open hearth, just as early settlers did.
Lee Wright CC BY
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Mainland America's first potato was planted in New Hampshire. According to the National Potato Board, the first permanent potato patches in North America were planted in 1719, near Londonderry (now Derry). After modest debate, the New Hampshire legislature overwhelmingly passed the bill establishing the white potato's status as state vegetable in 2013.
Ishikawa Ken CC BY-SA