|Programme for a American Thanksgiving dinner held by the Anglo-American Society, Hull Branch, 1922 [L.369.2]|
American Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November, is an annual national holiday celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. It commemorates a harvest feast shared in 1621 by the English colonists of Plymouth (known as the Pilgrims) and the Wampanoag people. The occasion has been celebrated nationally in the USA since 1789, when a proclamation was issued by George Washington.
The Anglo-American Society is the English counterpart of an organisation in the USA known as the Sulgrave Institution. The organisation derives its name from Sulgrave Manor, in Northamptonshire, which was the ancestral home of the Washingtons in the sixteenth century. The first principle of the Sulgrave Institution was 'to foster friendship amongst English-speaking peoples and all peoples of goodwill'.
The formation of the Hull branch of the Anglo-American Society was due in a large part to the efforts of Mr Charles Wray. He was connected with the Hull fruit trade. Mr Wray had been a joint secretary of the Mayflower celebrations, which had been held in City Hall in September 1920 and which led to the formation of the Hull branch of the Anglo-American Society.
|Toast list for the Anglo-American Society Thanksgiving Dinner [L.369.2]|
The first annual Thanksgiving Dinner was held in 1922 at Powolny's restaurant on King Edward Street, known colloquially as 'Polly’s'. It was managed by Petro Louis Dermond who had been born in Smyrna. Under his supervision, it became known as the place to be. However, in 1941, the building received a direct hit during May air raids, and never re-opened its doors.
This dinner was advertised in the Hull Daily Mail in the week leading up to the event, particularly encouraging Americans in the area to attend, and a report of the event appeared in the Friday edition of the paper on 1 December, 1922.
|Hull Daily Mail, 1 Dec 1922|
To all those American out there, near and far, I wish you a very “Happy Thanksgiving”.
Caoimhe West, Reader Assistant, Unlocking the Treasures Project