Remember When: Thanksgiving words from the past

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

It is always interesting, amusing, inspiring – not sure what the word is – to look back at the vintage newspapers of 100 years ago and see how the culture of the community has changed, yet stayed somewhat the same. Here are some words from the November 28, 1922 edition of The Andalusia Star that you might enjoy and ponder.

THANKSGIVING – We arrive at another glad season of the year when our minds and hearts hark back to the landing at Plymouth of a loyal band of people – our forefathers – inbued with that noble spirit which has come down to us through the ages – a spirit to advance despite the hardships that try men’s souls in order that happiness and contentment might be our heritage. We have been given much for which we should be grateful and give thanks.”

“There is to be a union Thanksgiving service at 6 o’clock Thursday morning in the Presbyterian Church to which the membership of all churches in Andalusia and their friends and visitors are cordially invited. Rev. T. Baron Gibson, pastor of the Baptist Church will preach the sermon of the occasion and special music will be furnished by selected voices. Everyone is cordially invited to come and bring someone.”

This writer is wondering if men might have planned this special Thanksgiving service at 6 o’clock in the morning. I mean, well, this is when the women were cooking on wood stoves and using ice boxes in their kitchens! The families were also riding to church in horse and buggies or mule and wagons with the exceptions of some that might have horseless carriages in 1922! There were some paved sidewalks in town by this date so families may have walked to the church if they lived in the nearby residences on South Three Notch, East Three Notch, South Cotton, Riley, Rankin, Baker, Morrison, or Church Streets. Glory be!

Here is another article which was probably written by the newspaper editor, Oscar M. Dugger, in celebration of Thanksgiving. He definitely found humor in his editorial cartoon, “Thanksgiving 1922” and wanted to share it with his readers. This picture highlighted a typical family of the day, the men being served at the dinner table, the mother wearing her apron serving the guys, the sister washing and drying dishes in the kitchen, the children playing on the floor awaiting their turn to eat (the children used to be served last), the old granddaddy smoking his pipe, and the radio blaring with a football game broadcast (no tv’s back then)! The mother had that look on her face like she could wring the men’s necks like she probably had just done to the turkey in the hen house a few hours before preparing her feast. I can just hear the men’s voices echoing, “What’s for supper, mother?”

“What are you most thankful for at this Thanksgiving season? Have you taken time to think it over? Has there not during the year been some outstanding blessing for which there wells up a feeling of gratitude that is just a little more pronounced than that which results from your other blessings?”

“Your character is determined in a large measure by the things that you prize most highly. Your gratitude is an index to your life. …Have you taken time to brighten the life of others besides your own kith and kin?”

“We spend much time each day in the struggle of business and of the manifold duties incumbent upon us. Because of this fact, we are prone to accustom ourselves to thinking that we are the makers of our fortunes. It is well therefore that once each year, the American people are called upon to set apart one day for Thanksgiving and gratitude to Almighty God who is the author and source of every good thing that comes into our lives.”

“In the rush of business, we go far afield. May we use this day as a means of getting back to a close relationship to our heavenly Father. And no better way can we suggest than to devote the day to acts of charity and to worship.”

I don’t Remember When people expressed themselves like they did back 100 years ago, but it is, yes, inspiring. Needless to say, I am glad that we don’t have a church service at 6 o’clock on Thanksgiving morning. If all I had to do back then was wake up, splash water in my face from the wash bowl, put my long hair up in a bun, slip on my corset, teddies, and frock, fasten my high top shoes with the button hook, don my fancy trimmed hat, lace gloves, and warmest cape, and head out, I guess I could get to the church on time! (Surely, I jest!)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL THE READERS OF 2022 that I am thankful for this season!

Sue Bass Wilson, AHS Class of 1965, is a local real estate broker, former choral music teacher, and long-time member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at