From the archives: Thanksgiving

This week I had so many fantastic photos to choose from that I decided to put a few classic Thanksgiving photos in the blog and make a photo showcase of just local pictures. Be sure to check it out, you may see yourself or someone you know!


This is an Associated Press photo of a re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving day by the residents of Plymouth, Mass. This photo was taken in 1939.


Aren’t these little Pilgrims adorable? Bob Paskach snapped this shot of the cardboard Mayflower and its passengers back in 1969.


Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without the parades. This NBC publicity shot is of the 1963 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Check out those Rockettes — pretty racy for 1963!


And speaking of parades, I didn’t know that Omaha had its own version of the Macy balloons! Photographer Rudy Smith took this shot of James Moore filling the up balloon characters that were anywhere from 60 to 125 feet long for the Crossroads Balloon Parade. The event took place in November 1972. I’m not quite sure what some of those balloons are supposed to be…


The headline for this 1940 photo/illustration was “Thanksgiving Dinner for 5 Seen for $4.65 This Season.” That’s $4.65 for the entire dinner! The World-Herald occasionally ran these photos through the years. The next one I found was in 1948 and the cost had skyrocketed to a whopping $9.14. I was also very impressed with the analog photo manipulation here!


I think this one says it all! Photographer Sebi Breci snapped this shot of a 9-year-old Larry Scalise, who claimed that his eyes were as big as his stomach in 1973.

And finally…

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than a chimp with a carving knife! This 1979 photo was provided by The Associated Press and features Congo the Chimp smiling over a traditional turkey. Congo, who lived at the International Wildlife Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, didn’t care for the turkey, but he really enjoyed the “trimmins” of fruit.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jolene McHugh

About Jolene McHugh

I was a graphic artist prior to coming to the Omaha World-Herald in 2007, and now I’m a photo imaging specialist, which means I prepare photos to print properly in the newspaper. I also have the incredibly fun task of restoring old photographs from our massive library. My favorite part of my job is getting lost in the history and stories behind the photographs. Many of the archive photos have little or no information attached, so I need to properly date and identify the people and places in them. Researching the stories is a bit like being on a historical scavenger hunt. The largest challenge I face is restoring photos we run in our books. Our newest book, “At War, At Home: The Cold War” is filled with hundreds of old photographs, and most of them small and in poor condition. I live in Omaha with my husband, one of my daughters and three very furry Maine Coon cats.
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  1. Colleen O says:

    Love the chimp feel of this photo, like being home as a child with Tim around!! LOL ;)

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