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Town hall meeting

Posted by Scott Stock Gissendanner on October 17, 2009 at 14:58

A question came up during a recent political discussion: the origin of the phrase "town hall meeting." We all immediately answered "New England." But the sole New Englander among us objected, saying that in New England, they say "town meeting." I remember the term from the 1980s in the South, referring to a question and answer session fielded by a politician. It was often referred to as a meeting in town hall style or something similar. The town hall meetings have been in the news this year with the debates on health care.

Any ideas?