In 1917, U.S. citizens and soldiers celebrated the holiday under
the specter of World War I. The conflict in Europe had begun in
1914, but President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war
on Germany in April 1917.
The newly established Food Administration, under the direction
of Herbert Hoover, asked farmers to increase food production and
compelled civilians to ration consumption by observing certain
days of the week as "wheatless," "meatless," or "porkless."
This slightly altered traditional Thanksgiving meals as families
relied upon the foods available in their "war gardens." Guides
such as 1917's "Best
War Time Recipes" provided methods for making foods such as
corn bread and muffins while adhering to the necessary rations.