The holidays must have been tough for servicemen and women during World War II, but it seems like after the war was over and one was STILL not home, it must have been extra frustrating. Perhaps leaders knew this, or perhaps it was just that, in 1945, Americans had so much for which to be thankful; but it appears that the United Seamen’s Service hosted quite the festivities in Calcutta, India on November 22, 1945. The celebration included a church service, beer hour, football, and, of course, Thanksgiving dinner which was accompanied by music and entertainment.
Captain Harold A. Budke served in the Medical Corps in India from 1945 to early 1946. His experiences are documented in a rather wonderful photograph album. Included in the album is this program for the United Seamen’s Service Thanksgiving Day celebrations. As with most posh dinners of the time, celery and olives are prominently advertised along with the roast Vermont turkey and the pumpkin pie. After I see such event menus, I always feel the need to re-evaluate my own food-planning choices … should I stop at Reading Terminal Market on my way home and purchase celery and ripe olives??? Can one have a truly successful meal without them? History indicates that they are, indeed, a necessity!
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers … may your dinner be truly celebratory, even if you make the tragic decision NOT to serve celery and ripe olives!