Thanksgiving Through the Years

On this week of Thanksgiving, we present depictions of the holiday throughout the last century in Georgia: the food, celebrations, commercialism, and football. You can find all of these images and more in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Thanksgiving themed ad for the Georgia Dental Parlors from the November 19, 1910 issue of the Atlanta Georgia and News as part of the Atlanta Historic Newspaper Archive.

Handbill for the Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia in 1928 advertising a Thanksgiving double feature of “The Devil’s Skipper” and “The Vanishing Pioneer.” From the Blues, Black Vaudeville, and the Silver Screen, 1912-1930s Collection.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Warm Springs, Georgia circa late 1930s, with Basil O’Connor, President Franklin Roosevelt, Dr. Charles E. Irwin, and Fred Botts. President Roosevelt owned a residence in the town and visited often to utilize the springs, which eased his polio symptoms. In 1941, Roosevelt signed a law making the fourth Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving holiday. From the Vanishing Georgia Collection.

Article from the November 19, 1959 issue of the Red and Black about the Thanksgiving day football game between the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech freshman teams. From the Red and Black Archive.

Thanksgiving recipe for rice pilaf from the November 21, 1986 issue of the Southern Israelite newspaper (by jodi at The issue also included recipes for roast turkey and apple crisp. From the Southern Israelite Archive.


1895 Cotton States Exposition – The Legacy


People gathered in Piedmont Park during the Cotton States and International Exposition. Image Courtesy of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Piedmont Park is today a refuge in the middle of Atlanta – providing a place to relax in the midst of a busy city – but it was once the location of one of the most widely touted exhibitions in the state’s history. This Friday marks the 115th anniversary of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition. The 1895 Exposition was the event at which Booker T. 3d vr headset Washington gave his “Atlanta Compromise” address, regarded as one of the most significant speeches in American history. A leading educator, Washington had lobbied for the exposition in Atlanta in order to highlight social and economic advances made in the South. His speech addressed the “Negro problem” and called for whites and blacks to take responsibility for improving relations between the races, while stressing that blacks should work within current systems for advancement. More on the speech, and the controversy it created among African American intellectuals, can be found in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.  In 1904, the city of Atlanta purchased Piedmont Park from the Piedmont Park Exposition Company and extended the city limits north to include the park.

Elevated view of the grounds as seen from the Phoenix Wheel ride. Image Courtesy of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

The Fred L. Howe Cotton States and International Exposition photographs, 1895 collection (held by the Atlanta History Center) contains dozens of photographs that document the exposition, which included 25 buildings, a lake and fountains. In addition to showcasing the latest in transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other areas, there were rides and midway amusements and an exhibition of some 1,000 works of fine art.