As you painstakingly prepare to baste, roast, smoke, or deep-fry your turkey–or tofurkey–be comforted by the fact that you are part of a long tradition of Angelenos gathering around the table to give thanks with this iconic meal. From family affairs to charitable events, here’s a look back through a few photos from the Los Angeles Public Library’s collection to offer a nice reminder of how the generous spirit of our community hasn’t changed over the years.
The city’s dining tables were being cleared and made ready for the big Thanksgiving Day feast. Photo shows a scene in the Statler Hotel (Wilshire Grand) kitchen where Head Chef Francis “Jumbo” Mendicina (center, rear) is supervising the cooking staff. Photograph dated November 23, 1955.
Servicemen get turkey at U.S.O. Catholic Center on November 27, 1952. Senior hostess K. Barrett Brooks serves Thanksgiving dinner to Marine Pfc. Leonard Skaim, Airman Corp. James Panagos and Sailor Bob Crowley.1952.
The three Fowler children look happily, with great anticipation, over the turkey they selected. It’s all cleaned and ready to go into the oven. Will Jr. spent Thanksgiving two years ago in the hospital with his mother. The two had polio. Photo dated: November 22, 1950.
Many of the servicemen and women who did the fighting were home on November 22, 1945, so all of them in Los Angeles were welcomed on November 22, 1945, to the Castle Steak Houses, where the restaurants and The Evening Herald and Express were sponsoring a free Thanksgiving dinner for them. Marine Staff Sergeant Alice Mae Deglar and Private James Ellingson are shown enjoying the treat.
Glenn Dumont, 4, and Donna Lyn Dumont, 8, are awed by the turkey their grandmother, Mrs. A. John Gallagher, readies for their Thanksgiving dinner. Photo dated: November 21, 1956.
Visit more of the Library’s photo collection here.