I was dying to post some some Wally Wood and Don Martin parodies of Thanksgiving but alas, they weren't available to scan. Maybe it's just as well because looking for them led me to discover this magnificent photo (above) of Canadian troops observing a thanksgiving service in WWI. The small version of this picture doesn't convey a shred of the grandeur of the occassion. On pain of death, be sure to click to enlarge.
I wonder what they were praying for? Maybe it was to give thanks for a recently won victory. I like to think that they were giving thanks for the wonders they'd seen in their lifetimes. It would be very touching if soldiers, who must lead a miserable life during wartime, could stop to be grateful for the gift of life...not just for survival, but for the sheer wonder of it all.
Here's (above) a mid-Civil War picture. The emotions here certainly seem heart-felt. Click to enlarge.
Here's a Victorian family (above) enjoying after-dinner coffee together. Of course the baby participates. Didn't they give gin to babies in those days?
Here's the classic Norman Rockwell picture, with ice cream substituted for Turkey.