Hundred-Year-Old Thanksgiving Poem

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, November 27, 1912:  Guess we aren’t going to have much of a Thanksgiving tomorrow cause Ma is sick and we haven’t got a turkey.

Recent fall photo of fields on the farm where the Muffly’s once lived.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Dang it—Thanksgiving was a week later in 1912 than it was in 2012.

From a blog post perspective, it works much better when the dates of holidays are the same for both years—and floating holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving are problematic.

This year Thanksgiving is history—and we’ve moved past Black Friday and Cyber Monday to holiday parties and decorating Christmas trees . But, on the off-chance that you’re willing to read about Thanksgiving at this late date, here is a lovely  Thanksgiving poem that was in the November, 1912 issue of Farm Journal.

Our Thanksgiving Day

By Emma A. Lente

The harvests yielded bounteous store,

In spite of all our trembling fears

Lest this, from drought and storms, might be

One of the fruitless, barren years.

.

But kindly sun and rain and dew

Have ministered to all our need

The fertile earth has given full store

Her countless multitudes to feed.

.

No pestilence has stormed our shores,

No wars have racked our hearts with fears;

Strength have been given for minor ills

And smiles have followed transient tears.

.

So, let us render fervent thanks

For sheltering homes, and kindred dear,

And say with heartfelt gratitude:

“This year has been a goodly year.”

11 Responses

  1. It is not too late for a Thanksgiving post. It reminds us that Thanksgiving is a floating holiday. Now I have to go research why it is floating :-).

    • For more Thanksgiving triviaI:

      In 1911, Thanksgiving was on November 30– the 5th Thursday of the month. Franklin Roosevelt decided in the 1930s that Thanksgiving should be on the 4th Thursday and that tradition has stuck. I think that the Christmas shopping season was considered too short when it was on the 5th Thursday.

  2. I never have understood how or who picks the dates on these ever changing holidays.

  3. I still enjoyed the poem!

  4. I also enjoyed the poem.

  5. [...] mother probably still is not feeling well. The previous day Grandma [...]

  6. This is a very cool blog. I love getting some insight into what people were thinking and feeling in the past. Thanks for sharing.

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