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Library of Congress

18 Vintage Photos From Thanksgivings Past

Library of Congress
Library of Congress

The way we get our turkeys and how we prepare them has changed quite a bit. It wasn’t long ago that when you got your bird, you got the whole darn thing—usually with the feathers, beak, feet and all, just like this gentleman photographed back in 1910.

Of course, that incredible level of freshness also meant there was less risk of salmonella poisoning from just handling the bird. After all, how many of you would ever let your youngster carry around your Thanksgiving turkey like this little one did in 1919?

On the downside, that also meant you had to spend even more time prepping your meal. Plucking the bird was the first step, and it was time consuming, as you can see from this image taken sometime around 1900.

These days, we’re used to eating broad-breasted whites, which are much less gamey and have a lot more white meat than other breeds of turkeys. As you can tell by the look of this finished roast from 1940, our modern birds also are a lot more stout and plump than the varieties eaten in the past.

While the big White House Thanksgiving tradition these days is the turkey pardon, that only started in 1989. Before that, the biggest presidential tradition involved with the holiday was the same one we all enjoy: a Thanksgiving feast. And from the looks of this 1921 photograph showing two men toting in one of many turkeys for President Harding, the White House must have hosted one heck of a feast.

Turkey may be the main course from the holiday, but the focus of Thanksgiving has always been spending time with your loved ones. Even in 1942, when many workers did their jobs on the holiday in order to help out the boys on the front lines, families like the Blackwelders still took time out from their busy day at the factory to enjoy a meal together.

Of course, the war didn’t stop all the traditional Thanksgiving get-togethers. The Finchams must have been all too thankful when they were able to enjoy their holiday meal with their two Coast Guard sons and two of their friends from the military.

Whatever the year, Thanksgiving has always been an opportunity to spend time with your family, whether that means hunting together like the two Crouch boys here…

Or just catching up on the news together like these two Crouches did in 1940.

Sometimes preparing a particular part of the meal takes more than one family member. Earle Landis needed his youngest son to help by sitting on the lid of the ice cream maker to keep it closed as the ice cream started to harden.

Of course, most of the meal preparation was left to the men’s wives and daughters, and while Mr. Landis and his son made some ice cream, Mrs. Landis prepared the turkey, the sides and all the pies in the oven.

In the end, the hard work and preparation certainly pay off when everyone sits down and enjoys a delicious meal together. That holds true today just as it did in the home of Earle Landis back in 1942.

And if you’ve wondered how long the concept of a “kids' table” has been around, well, this picture of the Crouch family Thanksgiving confirms that it’s been common since at least 1940.

Not everyone has a home cooked meal on Thanksgiving though, and restaurants have always managed to do pretty well on the holiday thanks to those who just don’t feel like slaving over a hot stove all day. I don’t quite know what to tell you about this sign though—whether it’s talking about giving your wife the turkey as a pet, or saying that your wife is a pet. What do you guys think?

Here’s one Thanksgiving tradition that you probably aren’t familiar with. It’s called “masking” and it involves children dressing up in costume and going from door to door in hopes of getting candy—essentially, trick or treating on Thanksgiving rather than Halloween.

Aside from going door to door for treats, maskers also participated in a “scramble for pennies,” when an adult would throw a handful of coins to the youngsters and watch them rabidly reach and grab for the change.

While records indicate the activity started back in 1780, it seems to have really caught on with the kiddies around 1900. Unfortunately, newspaper editors and parents found it to be incredibly offensive for children to go around begging in the streets, particularly on a day they considered to be so somber, and they banded together to stop the activity, successfully eradicating it by 1940. As a huge fan of Halloween, I think we should bring this tradition back!

Masking wasn’t the only tradition children participated in though. Just as today, many of them participated in pageants reenacting the first Thanksgiving. Here is one such event that took place in 1911.

Now that you know how people have celebrated Thanksgiving for the last 100 or so years, hopefully you can feel a little more thankful enjoying your family’s traditional get-together. But if you do get bored, you can always try to inject some life into your celebration by bringing back the forgotten tradition of masking—it’s a surefire way to bring some fun into your family occasion.

All images courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3
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[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.

1. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER TIME JUMP.

The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”

2. THE IDEA IS TO BE SMALLER IN SCALE.

If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”

3. THE MIND FLAYER WILL BE BACK.

The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).

4. PLENTY OF LEFTOVER SEASON TWO STORYLINES WILL BE IN SEASON THREE.

The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.

5. THERE WILL BE MORE ERICA.

Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”

6. EXPECT KALI TO RETURN.

The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.

7. OTHER "NUMBERS" MIGHT SHOW UP.

We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.

8. THERE MIGHT NOT BE MANY SEASONS LEFT.

Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

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20 Random Facts About Shopping
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Shopping on Black Friday—or, really, any time during the holiday season—is a good news/bad news kind of endeavor. The good news? The deals are killer! The bad news? So are the lines. If you find yourself standing behind 200 other people who braved the crowds and sacrificed sleep in order to hit the stores early today, here's one way to pass the time: check out these fascinating facts about shopping through the ages.

1. The oldest customer service complaint was written on a clay cuneiform tablet in Mesopotamia 4000 years ago. (In it, a customer named Nanni complains that he was sold inferior copper ingots.)

2. Before battles, some Roman gladiators read product endorsements. The makers of the film Gladiator planned to show this, but they nixed the idea out of fear that audiences wouldn’t believe it.

3. Like casinos, shopping malls are intentionally designed to make people lose track of time, removing clocks and windows to prevent views of the outside world. This kind of “scripted disorientation” has a name: It’s called the Gruen Transfer.

4. According to a study in Social Influence, people who shopped at or stood near luxury stores were less likely to help people in need.

5. A shopper who first purchases something on his or her shopping list is more likely to buy unrelated items later as a kind of reward.

6. On the Pacific island of Vanuatu, some villages still use pigs and seashells as currency. In fact, the indigenous bank there uses a unit of currency called the Livatu. Its value is equivalent to a boar’s tusk. 

7. Sears used to sell build-your-own homes in its mail order catalogs.

8. The first shopping catalog appeared way back in the 1400s, when an Italian publisher named Aldus Manutius compiled a handprinted catalog of the books that he produced for sale and passed it out at town fairs.

9. The first product ever sold by mail order? Welsh flannel.

10. The first shopping cart was a folding chair with a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs.

11. In the late 1800s in Corinne, Utah, you could buy legal divorce papers from a vending machine for $2.50.

12. Some of the oldest known writing in the world includes a 5000-year-old receipt inscribed on a clay tablet. (It was for clothing that was sent by boat from Ancient Mesopotamia to Dilmun, or current day Bahrain.)

13. Beginning in 112 CE, Emperor Trajan began construction on the largest of Rome's imperial forums, which housed a variety of shops and services and two libraries. Today, Trajan’s Market is regarded as the oldest shopping mall in the world.

14. The Chinese invented paper money. For a time, there was a warning written right on the currency that all counterfeiters would be decapitated.

15. Halle Berry was named after Cleveland, Ohio's Halle Building, which was home to the Halle Brothers department store.

16. At Boston University, students can sign up for a class on the history of shopping. (Technically, it’s called “The Modern American Consumer”)

17. Barbra Streisand had a mini-mall installed in her basement. “Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” she told Harper's Bazaar. (There are photos of it here.)

18. Shopping online is not necessarily greener. A 2016 study at the University of Delaware concluded that “home shopping has a greater impact on the transportation sector than the public might suspect.”

19. Don’t want to waste too much money shopping? Go to the mall in high heels. A 2013 Brigham Young University study discovered that shoppers in high heels made more balanced buying decisions while balancing in pumps.

20. Cyber Monday is not the biggest day for online shopping. The title belongs to November 11, or Singles Day, a holiday in China that encourages singles to send themselves gifts. According to Fortune, this year's event smashed all previous records with more than $38 million in sales.

A heaping handful of these facts came from John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin's delightful book, 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.

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