From mid-1945 to mid-1947, approximately 90 percent of the 12 million servicemen and women who participated in World War II for the United States were discharged.
Thanksgiving in 1946 was a time for many Americans to be truly grateful. World War II was over and millions of servicemen and women had returned home to their families and loved ones.
Yet there were homes where Thanksgiving in 1946 would be quiet and reflective, because a loved one who was killed in the war was not present. Over 400,000 Americans gave their lives for their country during the war.
In Gettysburg where Nancy and I grew up in the Forties, Dr. Henry Hansen, president of Gettysburg College, told Rotarians “the whole world is in a position where it ought to sit down and be thankful for the things it does have and the hopes it has for the future.”
Incidentally, a full course Thanksgiving turkey dinner including soup, salad and dessert at Mitchell’s Restaurant on the square in 1946 cost $1.25.
At Gettysburg High School in early December, 700 fans celebrated the beginning of basketball season with a win over St. Francis Prep School 29-25.In the first period of the game, neither team was able to locate the basket. As a result, the score at the end of the first period was 4-2. At half time, Gettysburg was winning 16-6. Obviously, there was no shot clock in 1946.