Thanksgiving Interlude

On this short week, we have a short blog post. Thanksgiving is a time for family, the kickoff for the holiday season, and a time to eat a lot of delicious food. With visions of turkey dancing in my head, I decided to look for some mentions of the holiday in our collection and tell you a bit about them.

During World War 1, Americans were asked to ration so that more food could be sent overseas for our soldiers. We have posters in our WW1 poster collection that urge people to alter recipes and save food during those hard times. I will certainly be thinking of these hard times as I sit down gratefully to eat my delicious spread of dinner this Thursday.

Green poster with black text stating "SAVE 1. wheat, 2. meat, 3. fats, and 4. sugar and serve the cause of freedom.

A poster from World War One asking Americans to ration wheat, meat, fats, and sugar.

This was emphasized during the holidays, as efforts were made to ration extra so that soldiers could enjoy Thanksgiving feasts too. We have a photograph from our collection of the 604th Engineers Photograph collection of soldiers lined up for their Thanksgiving dinner while at war.

Men are lined up at a mess hall for food in the rain.

Thanksgiving Dinner on Hill 297, Near Voquoise. Pouring down rain and some dinner.

Closer to home, we have an invitation to a Thanksgiving ball in Vinita from our Oklahoma Collection. Tickets for the ball were a dollar a piece in 1902, when the population of Vinita was about four thousand people. We can muse about how many of those people attended this ball and listened to the music of the Alabama Glee Club. I wonder if the evening was fun or if the food was delicious?

A small invitation stating "Thanksgiving Ball: Halsell Hall Vinita

The front of a Thanksgiving Ball Invitation that was held in Vinita in 1902.

An invitation stating "Yourself and Ladies are cordially invited to attend a Thanksgiving Ball to be given at the Halsell Hall November 27, 1902. Music by the Alabama Glee Club. Banquet at Western Hotel. Ball Tickets, $1.00. Banquet Tickets, $1.00elf

The text of the invitation to the Thanksgiving Ball in Vinita, OK.











Remember that we will be closed for the remainder of this week. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday. Whether you decide to go on a trip and see your family or stay in your home and relax alone, I hope you return rejuvenated. If you need to do any last-minute research or just have a peek at any of the treasures in our collections, we will be open M-F 8-4:30 next week.

About Kelsey Hildebrand

Kelsey is GA in the Special Collections department currently pursuing a Master's in Museum Science and Management.
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