Tag: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Rants
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse at the 1934 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse at the 1934 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Macy held its first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, making it one of the oldest and longest-running parades around. It's also been known in times past as the Macy's Christmas Parade and later the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade, but the idea is the same. Balloons, balloons, and more balloons! A big debut took place in 1934, when Mickey Mouse -- who debuted in 1928 -- appeared as a balloon for the first time. In a bit of cross-brand promotion, Mickey wore a Macy's star on his chest. Here's a photo from that 1934 parade, taken in the area of 46th Street and Broadway. Click for a larger version. Lots of fantastic details besides the balloon here. The timeless Coca-Cola sign is there of course. On the left is the Orpheum Dance Palace, which was a place where you could pay f
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 18: Thanksgiving Maskers, 1911

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 18: Thanksgiving Maskers, 1911

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Before Halloween became the de facto holiday of choice in America for children seeking goodies, there was Thanksgiving Masking. On the last Thursday in November, kids dressed up in costumes -- typically made up of adult-looking clothes and either masks or dark, smudged faces -- and go around the neighborhood begging for treats or scrambling for pennies. The tradition started in the 19th century and, as far as I can tell, was mainly relegated to the northeastern U.S. Once the now-accepted traditions of Thanksgiving and Halloween took hold in the 20th century, masking vanished. Certainly one of the major developments that pushed it into obscurity was the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924. Here's a shot, most likely dated 1911, of a group of Thanksgiving Maskers scrambling fo
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Sunday Jazz: Thanksgiving Jazz Playlist

Sunday Jazz: Thanksgiving Jazz Playlist

Music, Sunday Jazz
OK, so I'm cheating a bit on this one. I can't think of very many jazz numbers written specifically about the Thanksgiving holiday, so it pretty much all comes down to the titles. Still, I think you'll agree that this is a decent feast of music. (Spotify users — you can listen to these and other featured Sunday Jazz songs by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist.) Dave Brubeck, "Thank You" Thelonious Monk, "Stuffy Turkey" Kenny Burrell, "Wavy Gravy" Vince Guaraldi, "Thanksgiving Theme" Mongo Santamaria, "Sweet 'Tater Pie" Ella Fitzgerald, "Flying Home" Related articles Sunday Jazz: Halloween jazz! (grayflannelsuit.net) Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Alone in San Francisco (Review) (popmatters.com)
Football Friday — The Bills and Raiders resume a long series

Football Friday — The Bills and Raiders resume a long series

Football Friday, Sports
Week 2 of the 2011 NFL season sees the resumption of an old AFL rivalry, when the Oakland Raiders travel east to play the Buffalo Bills. These two charter AFL franchises first met in that old league's inaugural 1960 season, and since then the Raiders have a slim 19-16 margin in regular season matchups. Two of those wins came in the 1968 AFL campaign, and I have the highlights of both games for you. Up first is the week 1 matchup, in which Oakland obliterated Buffalo on their home turf, 48-6. Oakland QB Daryle Lamonica, playing in his second season since being traded by the Bills, amassed 167 passing yards and threw for once TD. 92 of those passing yards (and the touchdown) came courtesy three completions to Warren Wells, while RB Hewritt Dixon ran for 104 yards and a score. T...
Retrotisements: Thanksgiving Edition

Retrotisements: Thanksgiving Edition

Advertising, Retrotisements
For more Thanksgiving ads, check out the Holiday Retrotisements section of the main site. In terms of marketability, Thanksgiving is important mostly because its end marks the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season (aka Black Friday).  That distinction is becoming more and more meaningless, however, as most stores now trot out their Christmas crap before Halloween.  So in that sense, Thanksgiving is really more of a transitional holiday than an end in itself.  That's reflected in advertising for the day, which has a bit of a haphazard feel. It stands to reason that since Thanksgiving involves gorging, Campbell's tries to get in on the action.  So we have a pair of ads here.  The first is straightforward enough, extolling the virtues of turkey noodle soup.  And dig that mod
Classic Thanksgiving ephemera – Indian Gum Cards

Classic Thanksgiving ephemera – Indian Gum Cards

Ephemera
In days of yore companies issued trading/bubble gum cards depicting not just baseball players, but even actors, U.S. Presidents, and license plates. One such manufacturer, the Goudey Gum Company of Boston, began issuing cards picturing Indian tribes and well-known Indians in 1933. This series ended in 1940, but Goudey began printing a new series depicting "Indian and Pioneer romantic days" in 1947. Shown here are two cards from that series, owned by a family member. Up top is a card showing a member of the Huichol, native to Western Central Mexico (yes I know that a native Mexican has nothing to do with American Thanksgiving). Most curiously about this card is that it speaks of the Huichol as if they were extinct, but according to their Wikipedia article they are very much alive...