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Nov. 21, 1945: “Turkeys All Sold”

A timely photo, isn’t it? Thanksgiving is almost here. We found this photo in a “Thanksgiving” folder in our archive and thought it would be a great picture to start this Thanksgiving week as families in Pittsburgh and across the country make plans and preparations for Thanksgiving.

Before Giant Eagle and Walmart came along, before online grocery shopping became possible, back in 1945, Alexander Kidd, owner of the Fort Pitt Butter Company, sold turkeys in the Diamond Market, Downtown Pittsburgh. This photo shows him adding another bird to his display of 87 dressed turkey, previously ordered. This photograph was shot one day before Thanksgiving. 

In 1945, the American people celebrated Thanksgiving in an atmosphere of peace after four long and tragic years of war. On Nov. 12, 1945, President Harry S. Truman wrote a proclamation which said, “In this year of our victory, absolute and final, over German fascism and Japanese militarism; in this time of peace so long awaited, which we are determined with all the United Nations to make permanent; on this day of our abundance, strength, and achievement; let us give thanks to Almighty Providence for these exceeding blessings.”

“We give thanks with the humility of free men,” wrote President Truman, “each knowing it was the might of no one arm but of all together by which we were saved. Liberty knows no race, creed, or class in our country or in the world. In unity we found our first weapon, for without it, both here and abroad, we were doomed. None have known this better than our very gallant dead, none better than their comrade, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Our thanksgiving has the humility of our deep mourning for them, our vast gratitude to them.”

(Sun-Telegraph photo)

— Mila Sanina