A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 18, 2015
Turkey Day (Thanksgiving Day)

So much turkey is eaten on Thanksgiving Day tables that the holiday is often called “turkey day.” “Turkey-day” was cited in a Boston (MA) newspaper in 1835 and “turkey day” was cited in a New Haven (CT) newspaper in 1843. The “turkey day” name became frequently used by the 1860s and 1870s.
Wikipedia: Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.
The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.
26 November 1835, Boston (MA) Morning Post, pg. 2, col. 2:
Thanksgiving.—This Day will be observed in all the New England States, except Massachusetts, as a day of public Thanksgiving. It will be Turkey-day in this State, this day week.
15 November 1843, The Daily Herald (New Haven, CT), pg. 2, col. 3:
I hope I shall see you in New Haven at farthest in time for turkey day, Nov. 30th.
29 January 1855, Boston (MA) Post, “Letter from the Sandwich Islands,” pg. 1, col. 7:
Thursday the 30th was thanksgiving; it is not the “boiled turkey” day here that it is with you, however; ...
21 November 1863, Boston (MA) Herald, pg. 2, col. 7 ad:
Propelling for Turkey Day! All Aboard That’s Going! How Came You So?
12 November 1868, The Daily Bulletin (Leavenworth, KS), pg. 4, col. 1:
TURKEY DAY—The Governor of this Thanksgiving. “Let us have (a) Peace.” State has appointed 26th day of this month for “Turkey Day,” or
(Text breaks off.—ed.)
25 December 1869, The Argus (Albany, NY), pg. 2, col. 1:
Our blazing “Fourth” makes torrid summer still more torrid, and its platitudes animate nothing, not even a school-boys declamation; the respectable “Turkey day” of New England inspires but faint enthusiasm beyond its natal precincts. But Christmas!
23 November 1870, Hartford (CT) Daily Courant, pg. 2, col. 1:
To-morrow is turkey day, gobbler’s day, or the day when the gobbler is gobbled.
Chronicling America
10 November 1875, The Daily Argus (Rock Island, IL), pg. 1, col. 4:
Gov. Beveridge’s Mince Pie and Turkey Day.
In conformity with the proclamation of the president of the United States, I, John L. Beveridge, governor of the state of Illinois, do hereby recommend that Thursday, November 25th, 1875, be observed as a day of thanksgiving and praise to the Supreme Ruer of the universe for the bounties of his providence.
Chronicling America
28 November 1879, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 2, col. 3:
Yesterday was turkey day for Fall River and Kanawha Valley.
Chronicling America
25 November 1881, The True Northerner, “Correspondence,” pg. 5, col. 2:
The relatives of S. J. Sykes and wife ate turkey with them on “turkey day.”
Google Books
17 November 1887, American Stationer (New York, NY), pg. 999, cols. 2-3:
The calendar shows another “red figure” day this month and it looms up on Thursday of next week, “November 24” — Turkey Day! The Governor of this good Commonwealth has already issued his proclamation, advising all to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day, but he does not say anything as to who will give the turkey.
Google Books
21 November 1893, Harper’s Young People, “Snubbins: His Thanksgiving” by Maria Louise Pool, pg. 39, col. 1:
Having made this announcement, she changed her subject of conversation by asking if Snubbins knew it was Thanksgiving.
“Yes.” he answered.
“Turkey day,” said Arabella.
Google Books
17 November 1898, New York Observer (New York, NY), “Turkey Day for the Young Wife,” pg. 649, col. 1:
This was in October; and by the time that we should be planning for Turkey Day, neither of us had as yet gained any great amount of experience in the wonderful work of the housekeeper;and whatever talent we may have had was in embryo.
OCLC WorldCat record
Turkey Day in Dixie.
Publisher: [Uniontown, Ala.] : [Uniontown Turkey Association, Inc.], 1941.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Turkey Day : When Father Carves the Bird.
Author: Jimmy Mundy
Publisher: ©1959.
Edition/Format:   Musical score : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Beverly hillbillies. Turkey day
Author: Buddy Ebsen
Publisher: [1963-11-27]
Edition/Format:   Film : Film   Visual material : English
Database: WorldCat
Elly turns the Thanksgiving dinner turkey into one of her pets.
OCLC WorldCat record
Turkey day
Author: Grace Maccarone; John Manders
Publisher: New York : Scholastic, ©2010.
Series: Scholastic reader., Level 1.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : Juvenile audience : English
Database: WorldCat
A family of turkeys gathers from near and far to celebrate their special day!
OCLC WorldCat record
Requiem for a classic : Thanksgiving Turkey Day Classic
Author: Thurman W Robins
Publisher: Bloomington, IN : Authorhouse, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Database: WorldCat
“In the era when segregation and Jim Crow laws ruled the land, “The Turkey Day Classic” was created. The event prospered from 1927 thru 1966. Newspaper accounts describe the Thanksgiving Day football game between Jack Yates and Phillis Wheatley High Schools as the largest annual attended schoolboy game in America”—Page 4 of cover.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood Festivals • Wednesday, November 18, 2015 • Permalink

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