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A look back at Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a happy time for most people as families get together to enjoy good food and each other’s company—but most importantly to give thanks for the many blessings received from a gracious God.

Nov. 25, 1875 – After finishing their Thanksgiving Dinner today many families gathered by the fireside while the father read “Gran’ther Baldwin’s Thanksgiving,” a new book just off of a Boston press and authored by Horatio Alger, Jr. Another favorite was poet William Wordsworth’s “Thanksgiving Ode,” this work dating back to 1816.

Nov. 17, 1897 – Gov. Joseph F. Johnston today issued the traditional executive order calling for the observance of a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for blessings received by all Alabamians. This year Thanksgiving will fall on Thursday, November 25, exactly one month from Christmas.

Nov. 24, 1898 – A large number of A.P.I. cadets boarded the train at the Auburn station early this morning, bound for Athens, Ga., and the Auburn-Georgia Thanksgiving Day football game. The game was an exciting one, Auburn winning by a score of 18-17. This was the last of the three games A.P.I. played this season, their other opponents being Georgia Tech (W) and North Carolina (L).

Nov. 16, 1905 – Gov. William Dorsey Jelks has set Thur., Nov. 30, aside for a general Thanksgiving for the reason that “the Giver of all good things has abundantly blessed us during the past year with bountiful harvests, with freedom from epidemics, with a quickened public conscience, and with the greater blessing of peace throughout our borders.”

Nov. 21, 1915 – Due to lower supplies and higher demand, the price of the Thanksgiving bird is very high this year for those who live in town and have to buy theirs at the market. Housewives should expect to pay about 45 cents per pound for the turkeys they cook for their families.

Feb. 26, 1917 – Gov. Charles Henderson has used his power of commutation to parole a Morgan County man convicted of a crime alleged to have been committed on Thanksgiving Day 1916.

Nov. 16, 1927 – Furnishing ice, glasses, and ingredients or permitting the drinking of alcoholic stimulants in any establishment will be a violation of the national prohibition act, the state administrator of the law advised restaurant and hotel proprietors today. Thus Alabama residents should be prepared for a “high, dry, thirsty” Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both the national Volstead law and the Alabama prohibition law provide that those who purvey ice, ginger ale, and glasses for drinking liquor are law violators as are the consumers of beverages who have brought their own liquor.

Nov. 5, 1935 – The extension poultry specialist advises farmers in selling their turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to keep back some of their best early birds for breeding purposes.

Nov. 17, 1938 – In today’s Enquirer, People’s Drug Store is advertising “Thanksgiving assortments to make this a sweet Thanksgiving” in boxes beginning at 60 cents. Further information may be obtained by giving the store a call at phone number 5.

Nov. 20, 1940 – Union Thanksgiving eve services were held at the Baptist church tonight. Rev. J. F. T. Brown, the Methodist minister, gave the main message.

Nov. 21, 1940 – Alabamians observed the “new Thanksgiving” today as proclaimed last year by President Franklin Roosevelt. At that time this state, by proclamation of Gov. Frank Dixon continued to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. The president had made the holiday change for federal employees in order to provide more shopping time between “turkey day” and Christmas – shopping that would stimulate a still seriously depressed economy.

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