Story Map

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Through this story map, we have documented a few texts and menus from the older period, 1890-1920, along with the modern period from 2010-2018. One general theme that we can take away is that the transformation of Thanksgiving has transitioned from a religiously based celebration to a broader one that celebrates reunions of friends and family. Embedded within the story map are the Google Fusion maps showing locations, explained in this page here.

To document how Thanksgiving has had a cultural shift over the years, one menu from 1898 comes with a proclamation by past president William McKinley. The proclamation contains passages referencing God and acknowledging God's blessings on this holiday. Here, it is still connected to Thanksgiving's religious origins and is put as a reminder right next to the menu. The Congregationalist document also gives context behind the implications of Thanksgiving within that time period. Rooting back to the starts of this celebration, it aimed to be a feast day to honor the successes of harvests. More specifically, these successes were attributed religiously to God, and Thanksgiving was a celebration in respecting God for sending the harvests out. Location wise, we notice that these documents are mapped in New York and Massachusetts, so it close or right in the area where the Pilgrims first arrived in America. 

To contrast the older times, we examine the shifts in menus and attitudes that now occur today. One Thanksgiving menu is from a restaurant called 200 North Beach in St. Louis, MO, which also provides catering. With a Thanksgiving catering menu in mind, we assume that in today's world, people might opt to cater so they can bring food to the comfort of their homes or designated location with the convenience option in mind. This could appeal to many individuals today who are consistently juggling a fast-paced working schedule, yet would still like to spend time with friends and family. In terms of spending time with loved ones, we see how there is a cultural shift in how this holiday is approached. The 2011 document depicts a lively, boisterous Thanksgiving party in a socially active atmosphere. Less is discussed on the religious aspect and thanking God for past blessings, and more on spending time in the moment with others. As a result, a more secular approach to Thanksgiving is revealed. With this text set in the U.K., it's evident that Thanksgiving attitudes have spread beyond the States and into other countries with a social emphasis in mind.