Victorian Era Thanksgiving Traditions

Although the first Thanksgiving is considered to have been between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag, Thanksgiving as a national holiday, and the traditions still practiced today, actually have a Victorian beginning. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until the campaign efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale however, that convinced President Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday on October 3, 1863 with the first national celebrations on November 26, 1863. The hope was for Thanksgiving to be a time to give thanks and would help to “heal the wounds of the nation” from the devastation of the Civil War. 

Our Docent, Nancy Mrzyglod found a great article providing more history about the traditions of Thanksgiving from our U.S. National Park Service.

Veterans Day Rememberance - Thank you to all that have served.

Printed media was a large part of wartime efforts. Government agencies held competitions for artists to submit their designs, allowing the government to increase the number of designs that it could choose from. It is said there were almost 200,000 different designs printed during the war depicting mostly positive rallying cries to support the war effort at home and for our troops abroad. 

We found this interesting and very informative article called the “Powers of Persuasion” from the National Archives.

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