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Americans Give Thanks, Share Bounty With the Needy

November 27, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Americans enjoyed traditional parades and turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day and opened their homes and hearts to share their bounty with the needy or lonely.

Lola Layman of Fremont, Neb., opened her pantry. Layman, 83, said she gave notice in the local newspaper that needy families could help themselves to 1,000 quarts of home-canned fruits and vegetables. About 40 families came by and cleaned her out.

An estimated 2.1 million people lined the streets of New York for the biggest march, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and nearly 80 million others watched on television.

Celebrities like Phylicia Rashad of the "Cosby Show" and Emmanuel Lewis headed the 13 marching bands, 20 floats and clowns galore.

Santa Claus was the hero of the parade but Rita Coolidge also provided a festive sight, riding a giant mechanical turkey and singing "Higher and Higher."

Miss America

In Philadelphia, Miss America Kaye Lani Rae Rafko joined the arrival of Santa as 100,000 people watched the 68th annual Thanksgiving parade, the nation's oldest.

In Edina, Minn., a local couple active in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Norwegian-American community satisfied the wish of visiting King Olav V of Norway for a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.

At scores of churches, shelters, restaurants and other institutions across the country, tables were spread with turkey, all the trimmings and pumpkin pie free for the asking to those without food or shelter.

On the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, editorial cartoonists including Pat Oliphant, Jules Feiffer and Paul Conrad served dinner to about 1,000 homeless people. The annual dinner was organized by the Community for Creative Non-violence.

The group's leader, Mitch Snyder, and other members went without. They have been on a hunger strike since Nov. 9 to protest a fence around a subway station to keep homeless people from sleeping at the entrance.

The 115 residents of Mount Haven, Tex., splintered by tornadoes Nov. 15, gathered to give thanks. "Not many buildings are standing but we're all alive and that makes this Thanksgiving very special," the Rev. Pleas Cook said.

In San Antonio, about 1,400 families took in lonely recruits from Lackland Air Force Base for the holiday, inviting them to share their Thanksgiving dinner.

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