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Artifact Friday: 1965 Menu Card

Updated: Dec 1

Happy Thanksgiving (almost)! Considering the upcoming American holiday, this week’s Artifact Friday covers a unique item in our collection.

Since Thanksgiving became an official holiday in the United States, the military has attempted to always bring the Thanksgiving meal to the troops whether on bases or overseas.

Each division or unit would get shipped special supplies to cook a Thanksgiving meal for the troops.

The meals were served in mess halls complete with a menu (as depicted) or these meals were put in cases and hauled to service members on the frontlines.

The menu card displayed here is for a dinner in 1965 hosted by the Military Assistance Command. It gives a detailed menu of the appetizer, main course, and even dessert items. Additionally, there is a message from General Westmoreland and a special Thanksgiving invocation.

This artifact is a slice of military life at Thanksgiving.

In case you were wondering though, the Military Assistance Command was built of Army, Navy, and Air Force commanders to support and advise the U.S. military in Vietnam as well as the South Vietnamese military and government.

It was established in 1962 and operated until 1973 when it was replaced by the Defense Attaché Office which quietly oversaw the operation of Vietnam’s government after the United States pulled out of the country.

So, on this Friday before Thanksgiving, dear reader, you received valuable information on two things. The Thanksgiving menu card and another piece of the United States military in Vietnam.

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