Home News Vision Historically speaking: Snippets of Thanksgiving past

Historically speaking: Snippets of Thanksgiving past

Photo Courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives The caption on the back of the photo reads, "Roswell High School vs. Albuquerque High School. Thanksgiving 1912" — location unknown.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Janice Dunnahoo

Special to the Daily Record

This being the week of Thanksgiving I thought it would be fun to share a few articles and advertisements, all taken from the Roswell Daily Record dating back from 1900 to 1930. Sometimes the years between make little to no difference. I hope you will enjoy these snippets of Thanksgivings past.

Advertised in the Daily Record on Nov. 28, 1906 is the Thanksgiving menu at the Grand Central Hotel. The Grand Central Hotel was where the UFO Museum is now.

The appetizers included clam chowder, celery, queen olives, raw banana fritters and wine sauce.

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There were several roasts: Young turkey with cranberry sauce, prime rib of beef au jus, fried spring chicken with cream gravy and leg of lamb with currant jelly

The salads include lobster, fruits, vegetables, snowflake potatoes, asparagus on toast, spinach with hardboiled eggs and hot gingerbread. Of course, there had to be desserts. These desserts were Tutti Frutti ice cream, assorted cakes, pumpkin pies, cream cheese and Saratoga wafers, accompanied with coffee.

Nov. 28, 1906

Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner

“How does this suit you? Roast turkey and chicken with cranberry sauce. Roast lamb and peas, several kinds of vegetables. Two kinds of pie. Celery, fruit, tea, coffee and soda pop. All you can eat at the Thanksgiving Dinner at the New Salvation Army Citadel, Thanksgiving Day, 11:30 to 6:30. Only 35 cents. That’s all. Private tables for families.”

December 16, 1918

“The New Mexico Educational Association announced to meet Christmas week at Albuquerque has been officially and indefinitely postponed on account of the influencer conditions in the state. Normally the N.M.E.A. meets Thanksgiving week. The N.M.A.A. Board states that the meeting will not be held until Thanksgiving time, 1919.”

Nov. 22, 1918

Saved From Death

“Some days ago an old trapper who has made his home in the White Mountains for some years, was caught in a blinding snowstorm and knowing the country as he did he tried to find his hut. Walking for some hours, he finally was about to give himself up as lost, for it was bitter cold. When a way off at a distance he could see the faint shadow of a light. So with renewed energy, he made for it. When almost near the house, (which it proved to be) he fell down in the deep snow exhausted, calling out as best he could for help. His calls were heard, for it was true, providence was with him. From the house came a bunch of the boys who were having a sociable game of high five and they found the old man, took him in the house, which was so well heated with a new Box Wood Heater they had just bought the week before from the Roswell Hardware Company who handles a full line of heating stoves, all sizes, all styles and at all prices.”

Nov. 22, 1921

Thanksgiving Day

A Legal Holiday In The State of New Mexico.

“I respectfully suggest that the day be observed by all our citizens in a spirit consistent with the meaning of the day, assembling in their respective places of worship or in their homes, for the purpose of gratefully acknowledging and returning thanks to Almighty God for benefits received during the past year; also invoking his divine guidance for the men at the Disarmament Conference in their sacred task of endeavoring to promote peace and goodwill between the nations of the Earth.

Done at the executive office this the 18th day of November, A.D. 1921. Witness my hand and the great seal of the state of New Mexico.

Merritt C. Mechem, Governor”

Nov. 6, 1918

Perhaps ‘Tis Here

“The Community House, the old Robinson cleaning establishment opposite the Gilkeson, has been renovated, painted, papered and thoroughly cleaned. When the flu quarantine is lifted, the Hoover Team, and the Woman’s Club, who are fostering the enterprise will go forward with furnishing the house. This Community House has great possibilities for service for the town and country. The interest of all the people is solicited in this movement. The Hoover Team has done a beautiful service supplying hot soup for those ill of the flu at the city hospital and in private homes. The Red Cross women have responded gallantly to the call for volunteer nurses at the city hospital. The Red Cross never fails when called upon to relieve sickness, suffering and distress.”

Nov. 23, 1927

Thanksgiving Day

“There has been no nation but in the beginning of its history of the consciousness of a relation to the world which it did not conquer with swords and whose fruits it did not gather in its barns, nor exchange in its markets.

“Thanksgiving is inherited by us through the valor, steadfastness and gratitude of our forefathers. Their first harvest had been plentiful from 20 ears of corn planted and the 6 acres of barley.

“Thanksgiving was one word that expressed the attitude of the Pilgrims when they knelt to offer a prayer for the blessings they had received as they said “for the mercies God has shown us,” and so the national harvest Thanksgiving Day was consecrated at Plymouth by the little band Pilgrims assembled in devout gratitude about their simple stockpile with the Indian Chief Massasoit, a guest.

“Three other Thanksgiving days are outstanding in our nation’s history; the proclamation issued by George Washington in 1795; the proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln establishing the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving day and the proclamation issued by Woodrow Wilson in 1918.

“Thanksgiving Day holds its honored place in the hearts of the people because of its appeal in all that was the best in the hearts of those who made this glorious nation of ours possible.

“Roswell has many blessings for which is citizens should go tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock to the first Baptist Church where in union service like the Pilgrims of old, raise voices in reverent Thanksgiving for the manifold blessings showered upon this a greatly favored common wealth, spared this year from floods, famine, tornadoes, pestilence, and epidemic of disease.

Dec. 1, 1916

Thanksgiving in Roswell

“Thanksgiving was beautifully celebrated in Roswell. There was the big football game between the ‘Soldiers’ and the Texas School of Mines and the big turkey ‘feed’ at the mess hall at 6 PM for the cadets, the instructors, and their families; this was followed by the Thanksgiving dance at the Gym.

“Turkey day, our national holiday, is prominently a home day — so there were also loads of lovely family dinners with guests.”

November 18, 1930

Little Theater Thanksgiving Plays

“The Children’s Little Theater, directed by Martha E. Knight, is to be presented in three short plays Saturday afternoon 3 PM o’clock at Junior High school.

“The three plays to be presented are ‘Red Shoes of Plymouth,’ by Mr. Olson, ‘Prickly Prince,’ by Marjorie Borrows, and ‘Turkey Red’ by Marjorie Woods.

“‘The Little Red Shoes of Plymouth’ is the story of how an unselfish little Pilgrim saved the colony by giving the Indian Chief’s little daughter her Red Shoes.

“‘Turkey Red’ relates the story of three school girls come to enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving dinner and how the Thanksgiving dinner was instead given to a poor neighbor family, and the Fitrays are invited to eat their dinner in town. The character of Serpaphema, the cook, played by Dorothy Jane Dustin, makes this play worth the whole admission. Many other funny situations arise in this play also. The play will be enjoyed especially by our junior high school children.

“‘Prickly Prince,’ is a fairy story, and tells how a very unhappy and bored prince was shown how to amuse himself, and be happy by taking as his closest companions the ‘Book Friends,’ Tom Sawyer, Rebecca of the Sunnybrook Farm, and Robin Hood.

“A list of characters will be given later in the week. Tickets will be on sale Wednesday: children taking part in the play will have tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. All children wanting to spend a pleasant Saturday afternoon, come and see the Thanksgiving plays. Admission, children’s tickets 20 cents, and adults 35 cents.”

Janice Dunnahoo is chief archivist at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives. She can be reached at 575-622-1176 or at jdunna@hotmail.com.

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