Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving in the Archives

In celebration of my favorite holiday, this post presents you with some interesting Thanksgiving online finds representing holdings in archives across the United States. Happy holiday everyone!

Records in the National Archives include George Washington's proclamation of an official holiday of "humble thanks" and Lincoln's Proclamation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

The letter from persistent Sarah Hale to President Lincoln requesting the designation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday is located among Abraham Lincoln's papers at the Library of Congress.

A letter from Jacqueline Kennedy to the MFA director declined a to a visit to the Museum on Thanksgiving weekend. The letter is dated eight days before her husband's assassination.

The Macy's parade has been a holiday tradition since the early twentieth century and is one of my favorite holiday related events. Macy's provides some footage of past parades on their web site.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame provides us with a summary history of Thanksgiving Day football (American style) and some images from their archives.

It is an annual tradition for Presidents to "pardon" turkeys on Thanksgiving each year. The Bush White House web site has a nice gallery of images showing the events. I assume these photos are from the National Archives.

Depression era Thanksgiving recipes from "The Homemaker's Half Hour" are available from Iowa State University's Special Collections department.

Pilgrim Hall is a museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts dedicated to "The Pilgrim Story." They have a remarkable collection of Pilgrim related artifacts. Two documents related to Pilgrim Thanksgiving are transcribed on their web site.

What Thanksgiving related primary sources are in your community? Does your local historical society keep materials related to the events? Does your repository have any collections you would like to share? Do you keep materials in your home related to your personal holiday traditions?

Enjoy your traditions and your communities. And, don't eat too much!

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