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Half length black and white photograph of Alice Stone Blackwell and a scan from her "Pleasure Book" with the entry for Thanksgiving, November 25, 1897.
Portrait of Alice Stone Blackwell, circa 1890s, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress; and first page of her “Pleasure Book,” beginning on Thanksgiving Day, 1897, Box 1, Blackwell Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Happy Thanksgiving: Reflecting on the Simple Joys of Daily Life

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On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1897, women’s suffragist and newspaper editor Alice Stone Blackwell started recording moments that reflected joy in her daily life. These simple activities included reading a good book, going to the theater, attending an inspiring religious service, receiving “an affectionate letter,” “having hot chocolate for lunch,” and “enjoy[ing] the freshness of the early morning.”  Blackwell continued to record these positive events until at least August 1898 in what she termed her “Pleasure Book,” emphasizing them in a notebook maintained separately from her regular diary.

As we spend time with family and friends, and reflect on moments for which we are grateful this Thanksgiving, take a little inspiration from Alice Stone Blackwell and perhaps explore more of her “Pleasure Book” within the digitized Blackwell Family Papers.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division!

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