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Gift Of Giving Marks Americans’ Celebration of Thanksgiving

November 27, 1986

Undated (AP) _ Comic-strip characters put the plight of the homeless into the minds of millions today, while charities coast-to-coast served Thanksgiving meals to the needy, freed American hostages wondered about those still held in Lebanon.

And a man whose names sounds like ″Pilgrim″ got married on a replica of the Mayflower.

Members of the U.S. armed forces worldwide were being fed more than 4 million pounds of turkey with all the trimmings, and President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, spent Thanksgiving at their California ranch with relatives.

Santa Claus, meanwhile, was making his first official appearance of the season at parades in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit to cheer the kids and remind their parents there are only 28 days left until Christmas.

Tens of thousands of children lined Manhattan streets to see the phalanx of character balloons at the nationally televised Macy’s parade, including three new inflated characters: Shamu the whale, namesake of a performing whale at Sea World in Orlando, Fla.; Swee’ Pea, who formed part of a redesigned Olive Oyl balloon; and Humpty Dumpty.

A 44-year-old woman plunged from a fourth-floor window overlooking the parade, hitting a man in the crowd below who broke her fall. Both were in stable condition at Roosevelt Hospital, and hospital spokeswoman Cathy Rohan said neither appeared to be hurt seriously.

Crowds in Philadelphia got to see helium-filled balloons for the first time, including a 57-foot-tall Heathcliff the cat.

At Plymouth, Mass., members of the United American Indians of New England scheduled their 17th annual ″National Day of Mourning″ at the statue of Wampanoag chief Massasoit, who signed a treaty with the Pilgrims in 1621.

″Native people have nothing to be thankful for on this particular day,″ said Wamsutta Frank James, a demonstration organizer.

Elswhere in the town where Pilgrims gathered for the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621, a record 1,800 people were expected for the town’s 365th annual Thanksgiving Day dinner, said Tony Lonardo, Chamber of Commerce president.

Among the guests were the new Mr. and Mrs. Allen Pilgeram, pronounced ″Pilgrim.″ The Utah couple were married this morning on the Mayflower II, the replica of the ship used by the Pilgrims.

″I always thought it would be really great to marry a Pilgeram on the Mayflower on Thanksgiving Day,″ said his bride, Marsha Padilla, before the ceremony.

An estimated 24 million Americans were expected to take to the nation’s highways for holiday trips of more than 100 miles during the four-day holiday, according to an American Automobile Association survey. Airlines said about 6.5 million people were expected to fly, and Amtrak expected 375,000 riders. Among those who planned to be with family and friends were former hostages David Jacobsen of Huntington Beach, Calif., and the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco of Joliet, Ill.

They spent last Thanksgiving as hostages in Lebanon with Thomas Sutherland, an American University of Beirut dean, and Terry Anderson, The Associated Press’ chief Middle East correspondent, who remain in captivity.

″You just can’t forget that they’re there,″ said Jenco, who turned 52 today. ″I want to say, to Tom and Terry, just to have tremendous hope that you are going to be free. Don’t give up.″

Three other Americans, Frank Herbert Reed, Joseph James Cicippio and Edward Austin Tracy, also are hostages in Beirut. The captors of William Buckley say he has been killed, but no body has been found.

In the nation’s newspapers, comic strips from Archie to Ziggy asked readers to remember the hungry and donate money for the needy. About 175 artists were participating in the 1986 Cartoonists Thanksgiving Day Hunger Project, said Mell Lazarus, creator of the ″Miss Peach,″ and ″Momma″ strips.

″Motley’s Crew″ quoted Adlai Stevenson saying, ″A hungry man is not a free man;″ ″Doonesbury’s″ Honey urged Duke to ″think about all the people who have to go hungry today,″ and ″Blondie’s″ Dagwood was trying to develop ″economical and nutritious sandwiches for the world’s hungry.″

Giving was on a large scale around the country:

-In New York City, where 1.7 million people live below the federal poverty level, the city and more than 20 charitable agencies will provide dinners to about 26,000 homeless people living in shelters.

-The slumping oil industry in Texas was a factor cited by charitiable organizations for thousands of free turkey dinners to be given to the needy.

-In Dayton, Ohio, more than 5,000 people were expected to fill up on turkey and the trimmings at the 17th annual Thanksgiving dinner for the needy sponsored by the Elder Beerman Foundation.

-In Denver, 86-year-old barbecue restaurant owner ″Daddy″ Bruce Randolph said 3,000 volunteers, including National Guardsmen, started cooking tons of turkeys and ribs two days ago. He predicted they would serve more than the 100,000 free Thanksgiving dinners that went to the needy last year.

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