The Archivist: Counting blessings in an election month, win or lose

Mary Phillips: In digging through The Oklahoman's archives, The Archivist found that people in years past also voted and then counted their blessings, in the same month.
BY MARY PHILLIPS mphillips@opubco.com Modified: November 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm •  Published: November 12, 2012
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I had never thought about it before, but Election Day and Thanksgiving Day are both in the month of November.

As voters cast ballots in last week's presidential election, it's doubtful many were thinking about the upcoming holiday. It's more likely they were pondering who would win. Even Facebook friends have faced off, espousing the merits of their chosen candidates. So, emotions have been high, not unlike a previous presidential election.

The 1948 presidential election was between President Harry Truman and Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, of New York.

It was a difficult race to predict, and it led to the famous newspaper headline proclaiming Dewey as the presidential winner.

Now in this era of almost instantaneous results, such a bold error is not likely, but the sentiments of the following words still hold true. The Oklahoman published this editorial Nov. 1, 1948:

“Both in November

“Our lawmakers have so arranged it that the same month that brings our fiery furnace national election also brings our day of national Thanksgiving. About three weeks after approximately 50,000,000 people have gone to the polls gnashing their teeth and declaiming right luridly they will be assembled in our country's multiplied churches returning thanks for the blessed privilege of residing in the greatest and cleanest and happiest country on earth.

Soon after the election has been held Mr. Truman will issue a proclamation calling upon all people of all parties to dedicate the day of his official selection to general thanksgiving for a happy and prosperous year. He will issue that proclamation, regardless of his electoral fate on November 2. And no matter whether Gov. Dewey wins or loses the presidential prize next Thursday, he will issue a state proclamation of Thanksgiving day and urge the people of his state to show their gratitude for mercies and blessings received.

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