Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving

Gina Asprocolas  //  Nov 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving

As of today, Thanksgiving is only two weeks away. When did that happen?

Some people like to get into the holiday spirit right after Halloween (I will admit to having already listened to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" at least once so far this month) but I really love Thanksgiving. My family does the same thing every year: we all gather at my parents' house and enjoy a big meal. My nanny's classic stuffing is always a big hit, and we have at least four different kinds of pie. (I find comfort food comforting, who knew?)

So for this edition of Throwback Thursday, I decided to find some old Thanksgiving-themed titles. Our Archives are currently going through a big cataloguing and renovation project so lots of shelves were out reach. But, thanks to Deimosa, Scholastic's trusty librarian, I was able to find a few rare and a few classic titles.

To find something really vintage, Deimosa suggested we check the card catalogue to browse the classroom magazines from the 1930s. In an issue from November 1939, we found an article about the year there were two Thanksgivings: one on the 23rd, and one on the 30th. Back then, Thanksgiving was usually the last Thursday of the month but in 1939 President Roosevelt decided to move it to the 23rd so it was farther away from Christmas (a criticism from businesses). Some people were upset, and this led to the 48 states each celebrating on different days. Check out some of the coverage we had of this event, including a humorous interview with one Mr. T. U. Rkey.

Jumping ahead a bit, we then found this book from 1969 by Ann McGovern, ...If You Sailed on the Mayflower. This book features questions and answers about the Pilgrims' experience traveling to and arriving in the New World, and it includes questions about the first Thanksgiving.

Then, we found a very interesting title: a Blue Ribbon book from 1974 called Over The River and Through the Wood. It jumped out at us because of the song, "Over the river and through the wood to grandfather's house we go," but according to this, that song is actually a classic Thanksgiving poem! Not knowing that there were any classic Thanksgiving poems, this was a surprise to both me and Deimosa. It was written by Lydia Marie Child in 1844.

The illustrations in the book are a mix beautiful black/white and color winter scenes by Brinton Turkle that macth up with the actions in the poem. It also features a page of sheet music so you can play the traditional poem on an instrument.

And finally ... no holiday-themed #tbt post would be complete without a appearance by Norman Bridwell's Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit was published in 1993 and features Clifford traveling to the big city to spend Thanksgiving with his mom. The story is charming, and I especially enjoyed the page where Clifford runs into his float in the Macy's Thanksgivign Day Parade!


Special thanks to Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey for her ongoing help with this series!

Gina Asprocolas