Enjoying the ox roast at mid-20th century Return Day

November 3, 2020

This picture postcard from the mid-20th century shows a Return Day throng crowded around the ox roast. They’re awaiting a free beef and white bread sandwich before listening to that year’s election returns announced from the courthouse portico on The Circle in Georgetown.

This year’s typical Return Day celebration, complete with ox roasts and a major parade, has been canceled due to the coronavirus, but a scaled-down announcement of the official election returns is still scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 5, in Georgetown.

Here’s what comes up early if you search for Return Day information on the internet: “In 1791, the Delaware Legislature required all votes to be cast on Election Day at the new County Seat in Georgetown, Delaware. Thus, all Sussex County residents had to travel to Georgetown in order to vote on Election Day, and then return two days later to hear the results – hence the name Return Day.”

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