Thanksgiving 72 years ago, in Denver, during the Depression

Today I came across this letter postmarked November 26, 1936. It’s from my great-great-Grandmother to her daughter. ggGrandma resigned a teaching position in Taos and took the bus north to Denver. Here she describes her Thanksgiving dinner. More context and more of the letter at my other site.

I have discovered most thrify places to eat—McVittie’s. Ever hear of him? one of the dining rooms is less than a block from here, and I have been getting my meals there. Today it has been given over to free feeding, not registering in that class, I went to one of the others that is more elaborately furnished, has a nice velvet carpet, Etc. My Thanksgiving dinner consisted of chicken coquettes, with cream gravy, peas, potato and three big hard rolls. The sum of 20¢ paid for it and besides I get a chance on a $10 daily drawing. Pie is 10¢ there so I planned to get my pie and a glass of milk for a late lunch at our corner but the bums and poor were still in there as thick as flies, waiting to be served and a group were waiting on the sidewalk. When I went out at 11 A.M., a double line stretched the whole block. I never saw the like. They did not look especially poor, just the ordinary laborers one sees on the stret. One family, sitting by the window eating, did look pale and emaciated. The woman’s arms were thin and white, the father and boy also looked ill nourished. As I came in the elevator with a man I asked him if he believed those people were all needy. His reply was “I was a Republican.�

One response to “Thanksgiving 72 years ago, in Denver, during the Depression”

  1. Cathy M

    I loved this post, Susan. I just finished reading “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan, which does a very good job of providing a history of the Depression, with special attention given to the Dust Bowl. I was seeing parallels to the present through much of it.