Thanksgiving — WWII


Most of the action in the Christmastime series (stories of love and family set on the WWII home front) takes place in the month of December, immediately after Thanksgiving. The warmth and coziness of Thanksgiving perfectly set the tone for the world of Christmastime.


During WWII, with so many GIs and military personnel overseas, the idea of “home” became even more poignant and valued.


(Thanksgiving service 1942)

Below are some facts about Thanksgiving during the WWII years, along with some images both of the home front and abroad.

Hollywood stars made regular appearances and served up food at various USO canteens and elsewhere in support of the troops.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 to save on rubber.


“Rubber was the hardest material to come by because 92% of our supply came from Japanese occupied lands. The balloons were donated to the cause and shredded for scrap rubber, thus canceling the parade for the duration of the war.” (

“On Thanksgiving Day, 26 November 1942, Casablanca premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City. Initially scheduled for release in June 1943, the premiere was hastily moved up to capitalize on publicity gained by the Allied landings in North Africa and eventual capture of Casablanca in November.” (

“On the home front … many magazines and pamphlets encouraged making pies with molasses, stretching meat rations, and doing other things to create a feast while the nation was at war.” (

“1942 was the year of the first wartime Thanksgiving and even though sugar was technically the only rationed item in the grocery, shortages of meat and butter created even more of a challenge for cooks. They also had limited access to certain traditional spices because they came from areas now occupied by the Japanese and cargo space needed to be reserved for wartime supplies.” (

“In 1943, the Norman Rockwell painting, ‘Freedom from Want,’ became the token image for the holiday.” (


“Throughout the U.S. involvement overseas, military officials did their best to provide a traditional, hot holiday meal for the soldiers overseas. In 1943, the American people sent two liberty ships fully stocked with Thanksgiving supplies for the soldiers. Everything was included, turkeys, trimmings, cranberry sauce, and even various pies, all sent throughout the European and Pacific theaters, all the way to the frontlines.” (



In 1943 and 1944, “not only were meats, butter, and sugar being rationed, but cheese, fats, and canned or processed foods were as well. Some folks would save their ration stamps for the holidays and use innovative techniques to create the perfect meal. Ironically, even though chicken and other birds were not rationed, finding a turkey for your own table was quite a chore since many of the birds were shipped overseas for the servicemen!” (

3 1944

On November 23, 1945, the wartime rationing of most foods ended. “The rationing of sugar remained in effect until 1947.” (

7 image


(All images from Pinterest)




9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving — WWII

  1. Dear Ms. Mahkovec, Is the Christmastime series available in libraries? I have searched Ohio libraries without any luck. I would love to read these books but just can’t afford to purchase them. My Mom was born in 1933 and passed away two years ago. I always loved hearing her tell me about the depression and world war II. I would like to read about a time when Mom was a young girl. The pictures are amazing and also love the Thanksgiving pictures. Thank you for writing this series. It looks wonderful.


    1. Hi Sharon –
      My books are available in some libraries, but I’m not sure about any in Ohio. If you let me know the name of your local library I can reach out to them and donate a set of my books. Would that work for you? I too grew up with stories of WWII and the Depression. I think you would enjoy these books. Linda


      1. Dear Linda, I didn’t see my comment that I sent you a few days ago, posted, so just wanted to send it again. My local library is Twinsburg library, 10050 Ravenna Rd, Twinsburg ,Ohio The phone number is 330-425-4268. Thank You again so much, really look forward to reading this series. Merry Christmas


      2. Hi Sharon – I think your answer was on another post – I received it. I sent an email to the library and I tried to call today but the administration office is closed. I’ll keep trying and will let you know. We’ll figure out a way for you to read the series. I assume you prefer softcover books. Do you read ebooks? Linda


      3. Hooray! Success – I just spoke with Lori Holmes at the Reference Desk and she is happy to receive my books. Can you include your name email or phone so that you can be first on the list? Or you could also check with Lori maybe by the end of next week and ask if the books have been received and cataloged.


      4. I would prefer the soft cover, I never really have read a full book on my tablet, I think I would need an app for the library. I will find out. I don’t think my tablet has enough space to load a large amount of material. Thanks


  2. Dr Ms Mahkovec,
    I, too, am interested in reading your Christmastime series but have not found it at my library. My mom and grandmorher have told us stories of the war in the Pacific as we are from the Philippines. I have always found WW11 stories fascinating and continue to read books about it. I would love to read your books if I can.
    Thank you,
    Rose Zink


    1. Hi Rose – I’ve been trying to get into libraries so that everyone can read my books. Can you first ask your local library if they can acquire them? My books are available for libraries through Ingram (softcover) and Overdrive (ebooks). I can also reach out to them if you prefer. Just let me know the name and location. Thanks, Rose. Linda


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