Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Episode 29 - A Wartime Thanksgiving

"Freedom From Want"
by Norman Rockwell
6 March 1943

Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome to the supplemental material for the special holiday Thanksgiving episode! In this episode I talk about wartime attitudes surrounding the holiday, the turkey and cranberry sauce. 

The general attitudes around Thanksgiving in wartime were patriotic in nature, though some were serious with thoughts of all those who were going without around the world. Gratitude for freedoms and democracy were very common sentiments in newspapers and magazines.

Buying a live turkey was the cheapest option for families wanting the traditional bird for their Thanksgiving table! Toms and hens were different prices.

If turkey was out of reach price-wise or they were hard to get, some Americans went the game fowl route - duck, goose, or guinea hen. Even venison was an option.

"From a proud line our bird comes - from the hills of old Vermont..."
This article in the November 1944 Ladies Home Journal gives a nod to the popular obsession with New England traditions and culture prevalent in the 1940s. 

There were so many things you could do with the iconic cranberry jelly log 
as illustrated here in the 1941 book Cape Cod's Famous Cranberry Recipes.

I mention these cranberry sauce cutters offered by Ocean Spray.
They fit perfectly onto a sliced off round from the jelly log. 

The Thanksgiving entry for "Mrs. X"
November 22, 1945

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
from The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book, 1945



“We’ll Share Thanksgiving”. Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.), 22 Nov. 1942. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.


“Freedom From Want” painting by Norman Rockwell, 6 March 1943.

Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services. (03/09/1943 - 09/15/1945)


This man made the first canned cranberry sauce

Newspapers: (via

Evening Star, Washington D.C. 22 Nov 1942.

The Whittier News, CA. 24 Nov 1943.

The Columbus Ledger, GA. 22 Nov 1942.

The Burlington Free Press, VT. 24 Nov 1942.

The Bangor Daily News, ME. 24 Nov 1942.

The Bangor Daily News, ME. 26 Nov 1942.

Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph, PA. 11 Nov 1943.

St. Albans Daily Messenger, VT. 24 Nov 1943.

Democrat and Chronicle, NY. 21 Nov 1942.

The Detroit Evening Times, MI. 11 Aug 1943.

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