Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541 - 2001
Thanksgiving Day, 1917

In 1917, U.S. citizens and soldiers celebrated the holiday under the specter of World War I. The conflict in Europe had begun in 1914, but President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany in April 1917.

The newly established Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, asked farmers to increase food production and compelled civilians to ration consumption by observing certain days of the week as "wheatless," "meatless," or "porkless."

This slightly altered traditional Thanksgiving meals as families relied upon the foods available in their "war gardens." Guides such as 1917's "Best War Time Recipes" provided methods for making foods such as corn bread and muffins while adhering to the necessary rations.

Woman in Dress Patterned with American Flag, Dropping Seeds onto Field
Cover of The National War Garden Commission's 1919 Guide to "War Gardening and Home Storage of Vegetables."
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