Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! In honor of that, here are some fun facts about the holiday:
– The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.
– The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.
– They sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of Mayflower.
– They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
– The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.
– The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast.
– The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
– Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving’s feast table.
– Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast.
– The pilgrims didn’t use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers.
Thanksgiving Facts throughout History
– Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
– Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1863, and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.
– The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920s.
– In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23, not November 30, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.
– Congress to pass a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
– Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He “pardons” it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.
Fun Turkey Facts
– The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
– The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
– A 15-pound turkey usually has about 70% white meat and 30% dark meat.
– The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in a stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.
– Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
– Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
– Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clucking noise.
– Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
– Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
– It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30-pound tom turkey.
– A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven-month-old turkey is called a young roaster.