Thanksgiving Day 1918

This year we have special and moving cause to be grateful and to rejoice. God has in His good pleasure given us peace. It has not come as a mere cessation of arms, a mere relief from the strain and tragedy of war. It has come as a great triumph of right. Complete victory has brought us, not peace alone, but the confident promise of a new day as well in which justice shall replace force and jealous intrigue among the nations.

— President Woodrow Wilson, from Proclamation 1496—Thanksgiving Day, 1918, issued November 16, 1918

Thanksgiving Day 1918 provided Americans special occasion for thankfulness, coming so soon on the heels of the Great War’s end on November 11.  A time at family gatherings ”to be grateful and to rejoice” the peace to follow ’the war to end all wars.’

Today, I feature two posters from 1918 that struck me by their timeless resonance.

Artist Lucien Jonas’ poignant graveside scene below pictures two grieving children under the steadfast care of an Allied soldier. Created for the American Ouvroir Funds, a charitable umbrella organization to provide for French war orphans, its vignette and title hearkens back to America’s gratitude to France during the Revolutionary War while promising to fallen French comrades that ”your children shall be as our children:”

1778-1783 America owes France the most unalterable gratitude. 1917- . . . French comrade, your children shall be as our children. American Ouvroir Funds

1778-1783 America owes France the most unalterable gratitude. 1917- . . . French comrade, your children shall be as our children. American Ouvroir Funds . . . Poster by Lucien Jonas, 1918. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3f04017

On a lighter (dietary) note, the practical reminder of this 1918 United States Food Administration poster to “Eat less” while being thankful for abundance great enough to share is apt for all times:

Eat less, and let us be thankful that we have enough to share with those who fight for freedom. Poster by A. Hendee, 1918.

Eat less, and let us be thankful that we have enough to share with those who fight for freedom. Poster by A. Hendee, 1918. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g10133

In gratitude to our readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

Learn More

One Comment

  1. Ronnie Kenigsberg
    November 24, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Hi
    The add “Eat less” is right even to today and in many countries over the globe and even in the great U.S.A.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.