In 1936, my dad was nineteen and serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, fighting forest fires in Oregon. Due to a dry summer, 1936 was an especially bad year for fires, and my dad fought a killer one at Bandon-by-the-Sea in Oregon. After a tough fall, he and his fellow CCC boys sat down to a well deserved Thanksgiving Dinner at Camp Brice Creek in Disston, Oregon. My dad was a pack rat who saved everything, so I have the menu from that Thanksgiving Day.
So, what were the hungry young men in the CCCs eating 77 years ago?
Puree of Split Pea Soup/Ripe Olives/Hearts of Celery
Roast Oregon Tom Turkey with Cranberry Jelly, Kellogg’s Dressing, and Giblet Gravy
Snowflake Potatoes, Candied Sweet Potatoes, and Creamed Onions
Hot Rolls and Butter
Mince Pie and Pumpkin Pie
Bananas, Apples, and Oranges
Coffee and Cider
Mixed Nuts, Assorted Candy, and Cigars
Now that sounds like a fine Thanksgiving meal. And these men, who put their lives on the line fighting wildfires, truly deserved it.
Wherever you are, I hope readers of The Contrary Perspective are enjoying a fine Thanksgiving meal. And let us give thanks to the men and women of our firefighting corps, who risk everything to keep us safe.
2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, 1936”
Bill.. thanks for this intimate look back into the Depression era. That meal your father was served by our government would cost an ordinary American family today about $65 +/- , a price that many American families in today’s recession could ill afford. And yet our government today , Democrats as well as Republicans are not talking about creating government jobs or unemployment benefits, or food stamps, but rather cutting further subsidies to the poor and reducing taxes to the rich and corporations. It is time Americans woke up to the theft of our great tradition to build a democracy that is equal to all its citizens.
….and thank you, for what you do here.