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News 8 Throwback: Gobbling turkeys and giving thanks on Thanksgiving in San Diego

We hope you have plenty to fill your hearts and your table this year and always. Enjoy this look back at Thanksgivings in San Diego from the 1970s, ‘80s and '90s.

SAN DIEGO — Here in San Diego we have plenty to be thankful for – from (mostly) perfect weather to beautiful surroundings, Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all we have. One thing we’re grateful for are the News 8 archives with the cornucopia of memories they offer from holidays of yesteryear.  

Some memories are sweet – with little ones describing what they're thankful for – and others remind us not to take our bounty for granted – like clips of dinners to feed San Diego’s less fortunate.  

We hope you have plenty to fill your hearts and your table this year and always. Please enjoy this look back at Thanksgivings in San Diego from the 1970s, ‘80s and 90s.  

For Thanksgiving 1979, News 8 searched San Diego for thankful locals. We found plenty who expressed their gratitude for everything from family to beautiful beach weather to being born in America. One of the most heartwarming moments came when a woman at the beach said she was thankful for her baby who had been born two months premature but was “really healthy now thanks to University Hospital.” And to think that baby is now in their 40s!    

RELATED: News 8 Throwback: Thanksgiving traditions of yesteryear in San Diego

On Thanksgiving in 1981 – like every year – not everyone could afford a turkey dinner with trimmings, so the Salvation Army in San Diego hosted a dinner to feed the less fortunate. Attendees expressed their appreciation for the feast they were provided, their health and good weather. The meal for 400 came together with 25 donated turkeys, hotel employees who cooked the meal and volunteers who served it up.  

Not everyone gets to take the Thanksgiving holiday off of work – including news reporters. In 1981, News 8’s Loren Nancarrow went out in search of other San Diegans who were on the job. Those working on turkey day included gas station attendants, chefs, and animals at the San Diego Zoo. News 8 staff still managed to have some traditional Thanksgiving fun though with a game of football in the KFMB Stations parking lot.  

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For many military service members, Thanksgiving and the holidays can be a bittersweet time spent away from family. On Thanksgiving Day 1991, News 8 featured a San Diego family who was welcoming two Navy sailors to their dinner table. The Tenhulzen family met Navy recruits Erich Kron and Tony Layton that morning and opened their Kearny Mesa home to give them a traditional Thanksgiving experience. It was their 13th year participating in a local “home hospitality” program.  

Following a Thanksgiving performance at Spring Valley Elementary School in 1996, News 8’s Larry Himmel spoke with kindergartners about what they were thankful for. Their answers ranged from sweet to silly to surprisingly sentimental.  

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