Thanksgiving in Los Angeles 100 years ago was an interesting affair. World War I was raging on overseas and most institutions were supporting the war effort either by rationing food supplies, or sending supplies “Over There.”
One Los Angeles Times article states, “Feast Day Dinner To Be Expensive. Lettuce, cauliflower, celery and cranberries, the vegetables most in demand for the Thanksgiving table, will remain at their present high levels, and some of them may go higher. Cauliflower is as high as 20 cents per head, retail!”
Appetizers and side dishes have changed in the last century, some from rationing and some just taste preferences. One article from November 1917 gives suggestions for the menu that include cream of celery soup, with a vegetarian option of grapefruit with Maraschino cheese. Interesting choices.
Pumpkin Pie was still a staple dessert at the Thanksgiving Meal, although "housewives" were cautioned not to make too many as the cost would be too high.
Though the library will be closed on Thursday and Friday, our free and fabulous e-media collection will be available, whether it's to help you cook a meal, listen to some music, or enjoy a break from your regular activities.
If you would like to learn more about Los Angeles traditions of the past, browse through our menu and photo collections, and have your library card handy to search through the Los Angeles Times Historical Archive.
Apparently 100 years ago, the library was open on Thanksgiving!