The last Thursday in November may be synonymous with turkey, football, and family, but another celebration has become a standard part of many people’s calendars: Friendsgiving. Not an officially recognized holiday, Friendsgiving is a time to quite simply, celebrate and recognize those special individuals with who you share no familial relation.
This past year we’ve all come to recognize how important these relationships are. When we look into the Louise M. Slaughter Congressional Collection it’s incredibly clear how much value the congresswoman put on the bonds of friendship. Our archivist has seen many of Louise's closest friends in photos, such as this one of her and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The inscription on the image reads, “To my dear friend Louise who set the bar high with gratitude and love—Hillary”.
It became even more evident how good of a friend Slaughter was at her funeral (2018). Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talked about how when she and Louise were elected to Congress in 1987, they bonded quickly as two of only 23 women serving. In that same freshman class of representatives was the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, who also spoke at the funeral. “She was our leader; she was our friend; she was my sister, and that’s why I called her ‘Sister Louise,’” he said at her funeral.
This being a time of year at which we're asked what we're thankful for, we suggest you look to your friends. We wish you a very happy Friendsgiving and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
You can help honor the congresswoman's legacy, preserve history, and advance learning and scholarship by supporting the work being done to process and prepare this collection. Learn more, and make a gift today.