Utah's diamond-dusted, up-til-dawn Thanksgiving nightlife of yore
If anyone lectures that Thanksgiving should be a family-only affair or dishes up heaping spoonfuls of guilt if you dare to eat at a restaurant or party with friends — they've got it all wrong.
- Shortly after it was made an official holiday by President Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving had become a time to go out and, most importantly, be seen.
What happened: Notices of lavish balls and theatrical productions for Thanksgiving started appearing in Utah newspapers by 1868.
Of note: The earliest Utah Thanksgiving-related ad we found for consumer goods was not for food.
- It was for lace fans, kid gloves and other fancy accessories the old ZCMI department store was selling in 1871 for the holiday.
- At a hotel party in 1870, guests didn't start eating until 1am and then danced until "the wee hours." (Did old-timey turkey not contain tryptophan?)
Zoom in: The subsequent write-up in the Salt Lake Herald-Republican devotes 24 paragraphs to the outfits women wore to the party.
- "Mrs. G—— was resplendent in a white moire-antique bridal dress, with train and black chantilla flounces. Her head dress was a chignon of latest style, with curls in front, sprinkled with diamond powder. To our mind she was the best dressed lady in the assemblage," a correspondent wrote.
The bottom line: Congrats to Mrs. G and anyone else who gets the chance to live it up Thursday.
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