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To Survive A Post-Election Thanksgiving, Try StoryCorps' Oral History Project

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An oral history project called The Great Thanksgiving Listen encourages people to record interviews with loved ones over Thanksgiving weekend.
Courtesy of StoryCorps
An oral history project called The Great Thanksgiving Listen encourages people to record interviews with loved ones over Thanksgiving weekend.

Looking for a diversion from divisive political conversation this Thanksgiving? StoryCorps suggests using its smartphone app as part of its Great Thanksgiving Listen project.

The project asks middle, high school and college students to record conversations with elders using the app. The app can suggest questions to ask. "We're not asking people on the app to argue about politics," StoryCorps founder Dave Isay recently told NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "It's about talking about who they are, where they come from, what their dreams are."

Users can both record the interview and upload it to the StoryCorps archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

"We're hoping that a lot of people will participate, and it'll be a moment of unity at this very difficult time when the country is ripped down the middle," Isay said.

StoryCorps also created a toolkit for the project for teachers to help students prepare for their interviews. Here are some interview tips.

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Last year — the pilot for the Great Thanksgiving Project — more than 50,000 Thanksgiving recordings were uploaded, including one from Savannah Houseworth, then 15. She interviewed her grandfather, Gary Ogden, in Humboldt County, Calif., about his childhood, his time spent in the Vietnam War and his advice for living a happy life and marriage.

You can hear more of Savannah's Great Thanksgiving Listen interview by clicking the audio button above.

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