Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

What Were They Serving in Gettysburg?

November 23, 2010

What a bargain! Check out what they were serving at the Hotel Gettysburg for Thanksgiving dinner in 1909:

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 24, 1909

Also from the Gettysburg Times – – but– different year:

This Thanksgiving “victim” was printed directly above the following poem in the newspaper, but there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between the two.

A Day of Days

THIS is the day of all our days
When we in crowded cities sigh
For one sweet breath of old time ways
That once we passed so heedless by.
How romance clothes the stubbled mead!
What glory crowns the bare brown hill!
How sounds afar the ancient creed,
“Oh, if we could be children still!”

A million roofs its echoes send;
The lonely street gives back its cry;
Its message stirs the city’s end;
Its vision cheers the longing eye.
We mount the charger of desire;
He wings us through November haze
And drops us by the farmhouse fire
With childhood friends of childhood days.

How rose the turkey mountain high
And how we sighed with cough and call
As plate on plate went passing by,
Lest aunts and uncles eat it all!
How blazed the logs while tales were told
And apples roasted russet brown —
How fancy filled the grate with gold
And chimney ghosts came tumbling down!

Well, well! I’d better rub my eyes.
I must have turned a hidden page
Back to the realm where memory tries
To bribe us with forgotten age.
Thanksgiving? Why, ’tis everywhere.
Youth may not claim it for its own
‘Tis just a little joy to spare
Out of the harvest we have sown.

— Percey Shaw in New York American.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 29, 1916

Origins of Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010

Origin of Thanksgiving.

As if to resist the bitterness and sadness of the failing year, the most genial and kindly of all our festivals occurs at the end of November. Its very name, “Thanksgiving,” betrays its pious origin — an origin unmixed with any prior traditions. The great Christian festival of Christmas stretches backward to yule logs and mistletoes, to Scandinavian and Briton heathenry; nor does it lose by the graceful, happy association. But Thanksgiving is purely Puritan.

In Elliott’s “New England History” you may read that in 1723, after the harvest, Gov. Broadstreet [year and name = typos?] sent out a company to shoot game to furnish a dainty feast of rejoicing after the labors of he colony. Having followed the directions of the governor, and the principal of the excellent Mrs. Glass, they cooked their game and invited Massasoit and some ninety other savages, and all fell to and devoured the feast, thanking God “for the good world and good things in it.” Think of that shivering band clustered on the bitter edge of the continent, with the future before them almost as dark as the forest behind them, many of them with such long lines of happy memories in Old England flashing across the sea into the gloom of their present position like gleams of ruddy firelight that stream far out of the cheerful chimney into the cool winter night — and think of the same festival now, when our governors and our president invite millions of people to return thanks to the great giver of harvests; and the millions of people obeying, sacrifice hecatombs of turkeys and pumpkins and pour out seas of cider and harmless wine.

It might be dangerous to stake one’s reputation upon the assertion that Thanksgiving is strictly a religious feast. It is a day of practical rejoicing in the good things of this world, and there may even be people whose mouths are fuller of turkey than their hearts of thanks. But every year the area of the feast enlarges. Every year there are more people who sit down to “groaning boards,” as the reporters happily express it, upon occasions of civic festivity.

Dear old Thanksgiving! Long and long may his hospitable board be spared. Long and long may he stand, benignant at his door, calling in the poor and weary, the blind and the lame. Rich in blessings and reverend in years, may good old Thanksgiving last with the continent, knitting closer the ties of family and friendship; its cheerfulness beaming like the smile of a patriarch; its charity burning like a central fire, warming all the year and lighting up every dark day of care and sorrow.

— Exchange.

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 25, 1886

A Wild Goose Chase

November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving! When Ellie heard it she knew very well what it meant,
For always at Grandma Spicers’ Thankgiving day had been spent,
With aunts and uncles and cousins, dogs, cats, and pumpkin pies
And nuts and apples, frolicsome games, and many a glad surprise.

Is “Fank-givin’-day tomorrer?” over and over again
Ellie would ask her parents, begging them to explain
How many days and weeks must pass, and endeavor to make it clear
Why Thanksgiving day at grandma’s came only once in a year.

The Governor’s proclamation, for the good of the nation planned,
Little Effie was much too young and too flighty to understand,
But she comprehended the meaning of preparations to start
For Grandma Spicer’s; and no one could have a more thankful heart.

But this year the floods had broken away the barriers strong,
And over the roads and the meadows went roaring and rushing along.
Bearing away the bridges, and whatever else there might be
In their track; and the narrow streamlet stretched out to the great wide sea.

There were lives lost, too, in the torrent that was all the while being fed
By the great black clouds that hung like a mantle of gloom o’erhead.
And as soon as the sun shone out again the dismal troop to disperse
Men gathered in solemn crowds, and said, “Thank God that it is no worse!”

Ellie had heard her father say, as he brushed away a tear,
That he wouldn’t be able to travel about very much this year,
And the little maiden thought ‘twould be a bitter drop in her cup
If the visit to Grandma Spicer’s had to be given up.

For how could they keep Thanksgiving all alone by themselves,
Even with lots of pleasant things spread out on the pantry shelves?
And how could Grandma Spicer give thanks in a proper way
If none of them went to see her, to help her keep the day?

Thus reasoned the little maiden, who grew very sad and sedate,
As if a puzzle were twisting itself about in her curly pate,
And as she’d been always cheerful and rather to romps inclined,
‘Twas feared that her father’s troubles had worried the baby mind.

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving, as searching the place around,
From garret to cellar, from barn to shed, little Effie could not be found,
And all the treasures that had been swept away in the vast abyss,
Though grievous to lose, could not compare with a loss as great as this.

She was surely stolen from them like poor little  Charles Ross,
And Lizzie Seldon! God pity the bearers of such a cross;
They sought for her in the dismal swamp, and off by the lonely church;
They looked in the well, and, as night came on, with ???????us kept up the search.

In a village some two miles distant was Grandma Spicer’s abode.
And the way to it was over a rugged and lonesome road,
And Effie father and mother drove over to tell their sorrow,
And the reason why in fasting and prayer they’d have to spend the morrow.

And Grandma’s eyes had a twinkle in them as she scaredly said,
“Well, now you’re so worn and weary, you’d better go to bed;
Those only are worthy the sweet who have tasted the bitter drink,
And it may be the dawn is breaking — is nearer now than you think.”

They close their door of the chamber, heavy and sick at heart;
In the festival of the morrow determined to take no part;
And turning they saw — what was in — the old-fashioned trundle bed,
And there, asleep on the pillow, their own little curly-head!

“Effie! Effie!” the mother screamed, “I have found my child at last,”
“Effie! Effie!” the father cried, his tears coming thick and fast;
And all that the naughty maiden said, as she quietly sucked her thumb,
Was, “It’s Fanksgivin’-day to-morrow, and gran’ muver said you’d come.”

Oh that was rare? Thanksgiving! the lifting of soul above,
The things of earth to the thought of God’s goodness and infinite love;
And when the story of floods and misfortunes the group rehearse,
Each looks in a dear one’s face and feels there are tricks that might be worse.

And when Effie had told her story — the trouble some little elf —
How she started all night for grandma’s, and suddenly lost herself,
And how scared she was, with many a ‘oving kiss and embrace
They forgave the little “goosie” that started this wild-goose chase.

Cambridge Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) Nov 27, 1884

“I Beseech You to Cease to Regret Your Lack of Prosperity.”

November 21, 2009

A Thanksgiving Prayer.

rockefeller Sr Jr

Rockefeller Sr. and Jr. (Image from

“I beseech you to cease to regret your lack of prosperity. Thank God you have work and struggle before you.” — J.D. Rockefeller, Jr.

I thank Thee, Lord,
That I have not
A golden hoard
In some safe spot.
And don’t hold away
In any state
Where juries may

O, I rejoice
At this great boon;
I lift my voice
In thankful tune
That from my lack
I almost starve,
For canvas back
I cannot carve.

I am so glad
Indeed, that I
Have never had
The cash to buy
A palace grand
Or castle great
Or miles of land
For my estate.

It is to me
A lasting joy,
One that shall be
Without alloy
That I may jump
Into the ditch
While autos bump
By, with the rich.

My heart is thrilled
With gratitude,
My bosom filled
With thankful mood.
Because I’m sure
It now appears,
I shall be poor
Though all my years.

–Publisher’s Auxiliary.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 23, 1910