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Columns

October 8, 2012

Area saw meatless Tuesdays, 'Chickless' Thursdays in 1947

(Continued)

That same day, The Oneonta Star reported that after a survey of restaurants was taken, 16 of 19 places were serving meat. While most admitted they hadn’t thought about Truman’s request, one proprieter said, “If I don’t serve meat, I might as well close the doors.”

Meanwhile, the Star reported on Thursday, Oct. 9 that the Abraham H. Kellogg School in Treadwell had gone “all out” to support the Truman plan.

“Lawrence H. Gallagher, supervising principal, who told students that ‘Europe is starving,’ said that indications are…that all students at Kellogg school have voluntarily signed pledge cards.” The school would serve no meat on Tuesdays, no poultry on Thursdays, and no bread and butter at any time.

While foods were being sent to the suffering countries in Europe, a lot of it wasn’t being used. Prof. Oscar Junek of New York University spoke to the faculty and students of Triple Cities College on Tuesday, Oct. 14. This was a forerunner to today’s Binghamton University, then found in Endicott.

“Much of the food already sent abroad by this country has been wasted because the people who got it didn’t know how to prepare it or couldn’t eat it,” Junek said. “Powdered eggs have been used by the Greeks as house paint and soap, but almost never as food.”

The New York Times reported that on one Meatless Tuesday, housewives in Michigan and Vermont were spotted crossing the Canadian border to shop for beef and pork. Imported meats from Canada were showing up in upstate New York markets.

Those complying with Meatless Tuesdays and “Chickless” Thursdays, while perhaps doing some good, weren’t doing any favors to poultry farmers. When consumers weren’t buying poultry, chickens were just eating more grain that could be shipped to Europe. The farmers had been sending telegrams and other evidence of their dissatisfaction to the president.

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