Archiving Angeles (AA): Thanksgiving During WWII

Casablanca made its premiere in New York, as Allied Forces were landing in North Africa.

At home, men in suits removed their hats for a feast in Downtown Los Angeles. It was Thanksgiving. They were homeless.

The year was 1942.

Photo of the Midnight Mission from the Los Angeles Public Library

8 Replies to “Archiving Angeles (AA): Thanksgiving During WWII”

  1. Great picture. My former employer was the last to require suits and white shirts. Both went away and we adopted business casual in 1998. They were also the last to get rid of the hat requirement, I believe that was in 1975. Dressing for dinner is a lost art that is for sure.

  2. These men were probably not what we now think of as homeless, but merely poor, elderly, without families nearby, and in need of a warm meal, warm room and fellowship on Thanksgiving.

    The old Los Angeles religious missions served a large population of needy souls — among them transient workers, drunks, searchers of all stripes — in exchange for their real or pretended attention during prayer or song. Many of the regulars lived on Bunker Hill or in the thousands of SRO rooms that have been demolished over the past four decades in the eastern part of downtown.

  3. Homeless isn’t the correct term. Most of these men lived in SROs and were employed, albeit marginally. They weren’t hobos, riding the rails, living under bridges or begging on the streets.

  4. It looks like there are only white guys in the guys in the photo; were blacks not invited or were they sited in another part of the soup kitchen one wonders

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