Thanksgivings past


To all of my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a re-post from one I wrote a few years back, about the similar ways in which Thanksgiving was celebrated a hundred years ago. Food, football, helping those in need…notice that Black Friday is conspicuously missing.

Enjoy your holiday,



Check out these snippets of late-19th/early-20th century Thanksgivings, through the eyes of reporters from The New York Times. Enjoy!

Even back then, it was all about the turkey:

…although Thanksgiving was about generosity, too:

Click here for the entire November 26, 1908 article.


College football was another Thanksgiving tradition:



Click here for the entire November 30, 1899 article.

Hope this helps get you in the mood for the upcoming holiday!  What do you consider absolutely essential for your Thanksgiving?  I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,


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22 thoughts on “Thanksgivings past”

  1. Kerry MeachamKerry Meacham

    Isn’t Carlisle Indian where Jim Thorpe went to school? I think that’s right.

    Thanksgiving is great. Absolutely essential for me? Turnip greens and cornbread. I like the other foods, but I love these two together. ~clink~

  2. Paul OwenPaul Owen

    It’s all about family … and wine … and turkey … and cranberry sauce … and sweet potatoes …

    • Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

      I’ve got to come to Turkey Day at your house because I’m with Paul – he’s even got the order of everything correct!

  3. Julie GloverJulie Glover

    That football picture was great. I can’t believe the lack of helmets! Although I do wonder if the two activities couldn’t be combined: Unleash a football team to tackle a turkey. Great look at the history of the day.

  4. Sonia G MedeirosSonia G Medeiros

    How cool! Thanks for sharing. Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. I love all the holiday foods too. 😀

  5. Marcia RichardsMarcia Richards

    Great history, Kathy! For me, I have to have stuffing and Pecan Pie–though not at the same time!:)

  6. Jess WitkinsJess Witkins

    I love Thanksgiving and will sharing some history about it as well at my place, but I’ve never gotten to read old New York Times articles about it. How cool! Thanks for sharing Kathy, definitely be back to learn more.

    P.S. Every year I make a “mini” Thanksgiving dinner just for my honey and I and I found a new recipe to try: Pumpkin Curry Chicken over Jasmine Rice. I’ll let ya know how it turns out!

  7. Margot KinbergMargot Kinberg

    Thanks for reminding us of this great post, Kathy! So interesting how things are both different and the same… Enjoy Thanksgiving!

  8. PhilPhil

    Love reading about these tidbits from the past. Even back then football was on the turkey day menu.

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