Gee Whiz Dad, a Thanksgiving Without Turkey?! A Lesson From 1951

The Johnsons have some tough news to share with their children. No, they aren't getting a divorce or moving the family away to an unfamiliar location. This year, gulp, there won't be any turkey for Thanksgiving. And their children really, really like turkey.

"Like most men, I'm glad it was mother instead of me who had to break the news to them," Mr. Johnson narrates.

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Upon hearing the bad news from their mother, the kids are rightfully indignant.

"Mom, you don't mean it? There won't be Thanksgiving at all," Dick, the oldest, complains. "...Fat lot we're going to have to be thankful for."

"No turkey, no good things," says Susan, ever charming.

Mr. Johnson, sensing a good time to teach the kids an important lesson, has the children think over what the holiday is really all about. "What you kids are saying makes it sound as if the turkey is the only thing we have to be thankful for," he says.

Dick, presumably the wisest child, is the first to come to a change of heart. "Well gee whiz no dad, it's not that at all." he says. "Suppose we don't have a bang-out feast, we're still a lot better off than the pilgrims."

In the video above, watch the Johnsons come to the understand how the holiday echoes American values. Plus, they realize that modern life is pretty cozy -- with washing machines, libraries, hot water, and the like.