It has pleased Almighty God to bring our nation in safety and honor through another year. The works of religion and charity have everywhere been manifest. Our country through all its extent has been blessed with abundant harvests. Labor and the great industries of the people have prospered beyond all precedent. Our commerce has spread over the world. Our power and influence in the cause of freedom and enlightenment have extended over distant seas and lands. The lives of our official representatives and many of our people in China have been marvelously preserved. We have been generally exempt from pestilence and other great calamities; and even the tragic visitation which overwhelmed the city of Galveston made evident the sentiments of sympathy and Christian charity by virtue of which we are one united people.
Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart Thursday, the 29th of November next, to be observed by all the people of the United States, at home or abroad, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Him who holds the nations in the hollow of His hand. I recommend that they gather in their several places of worship and devoutly give Him thanks for the prosperity wherewith He has endowed us, for seed-time and harvest, for the valor, devotion and humanity of our armies and navies, and for all His benefits to us as individuals and as a nation; and that they humbly pray for the continuance of His Divine favor, for concord and amity with other nations, and for righteousness and peace in all our ways.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this 29th day of October, A.D. 1900, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-fifth.
President William McKinley
Secretary of State John Hay
This was the last Thanksgiving President McKinley would spend with his family and his beloved nation. Leon Frank Czolgosz shot the President twice as he was greeting people at the Pan-American Exposition’s Temple of Music on September 6, 1901 in Buffalo, New York.
The President died from a gangrene infection caused by the shooting on September 14. According to eye-witness accounts, he realized his time was near and said
“It is useless, gentlemen. I think we ought to have a prayer.”
His wife Ida sat by his bedside and in her tears said that he wanted to go with him. The President replied,
“We are all going, we are all going. God’s will be done, not ours.” He sang to her his favorite hymn Nearer, My God, To Thee.
On this Thanksgiving spend time with your family. Appreciate the blessings that you have received, but most of all help in some way to make Thanksgiving Day a blessing to someone who is in great need of a blessing, a helping hand or a meal on the table.
Share your cornucopia. May you have an abundant day of joy, peace and safety.
G. D. Williams © 2014
Thanksgiving & Traditions in 1900
By 1900, Thanksgiving had taken on another meaning as well: family time. Interestingly, perhaps due to less food shortages, the focus of the holiday shifted to being the time spent with loved ones, in addition to the effort spent preparing festive food. Mothers often would involve their children in the making of family-treasured recipes, passing on culinary traditions to the younger generation. In preparation of the holiday, families would save and prepare for months; valuable foodstuffs would be set aside, fine china would be polished, and cooking would begin weeks in advance.
To celebrate, full families would gather together to enjoy the feast and afterward spend time together. Games would be played such as Charades, Taboo, and Tiddly Winks and hours would be spent in conversation over coffee or tea. Family time was a valued just as much, if not more, than it is now.
Women such as Marilla (Anne of Green Gables) or Aunt Hetty (Road to Avonlea) would have prepared plum pudding, raspberry cordial, jelly tarts, lady fingers, and of course – plum puffs. All these recipes can be found in the “Cooking with Anne” Cookbook.
On The Menu: Thanksgiving 1900
1900 Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Celery soup Nut butter sandwiches
Olives Salted almonds
Lentil cutlets with tomato sauce
Rice croquettes with red currant jelly
Vegetable turkey Brown gravy Cranberry jelly
Italian chestnuts (boiled) Creamed onions
Nuttose timbales Mushroom sauce
Apple and nut salad
Granose biscuit Almond butter
Pumpkin pudding Lemon pie
White fruit cake
Pears Apples Oranges Nuts
Good Housekeeping Thanksgiving 1900
Pan-American Exposition 1901
The Pan-American Exposition was held in Buffalo, New York from May 1 to November 2, 1901. Buffalo was chosen as the location because of its size (at the time it was the eighth largest city in the U.S. with a population of approximately 350,000) and also because of its well suited railway connections. The grounds spread across 342 acres and were located between Delaware Park Lake to the south, the New York Central railroad track to the north, Delaware Avenue to the east, and Elmwood Avenue to the west.
The 1900 Galveston Storm
On September 8, 1900, a Category 4 hurricane ripped through Galveston, Texas, killing an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people.
President William McKinley: January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901