Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and right now I am probably cooking 🦃. In honor of this holiday I thought I would pass on some Thanksgiving facts and quick trivia that you may not already know. I wish all of you that are celebrating this holiday a most wonderful time with your family members.
If Thanksgiving is not something you celebrate but want to 😉 just eat a copious amount of your favorite food until you feel like you are going to slip into a food coma, throw in a little gratitude and there ya go. You are celebrating with the rest of us 😂.
- The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days.
- Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, that is, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and (lucky for us!) turned their fast into a three-day feast!
- Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until over 200 years later! Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who actually wrote the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after writing letters for 17 years campaigning for this to happen.
- No turkey on the menu at the first Thanksgiving: Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving! What was on the menu? Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish. They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also didn’t eat mashed potatoes or cranberry relish, but they probably ate cranberries. And no, Turduckens (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) were nowhere to be found during that first Thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving is the reason for TV dinners! In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes — and the first TV dinner was born!
- Turkey isn’t responsible for drowsiness or the dreaded “food coma.” So, what is? Scientists say that extra glass of wine, the high-calorie meal or relaxing after a busy work schedule is what makes you drowsy!
- Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when they are scared, but domesticated turkeys that are bred are heavier and can’t run quite that fast.
- How did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving start? The NFL started the Thanksgiving Classic games in 1920 and since then the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have hosted games on Turkey Day. In 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting.
- Going shopping?: Not if you’re a plumber. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for them, according to Roto-Rooter, the nation’s largest plumbing service. After all, someone has to clean up after household guests who “overwhelm the system.”
- Born in the U.S.A.: Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. Canadians celebrate it too. Except they do it the second Monday in October.
- Talking turkey: Why is it called a turkey? The word on the street is that back in the day, the Europeans took a liking to the guinea fowls imported to the continent. Since the birds were imported by Turkish merchants, the English called them turkeys. Later, when the Spaniards came to America, they found a bird that tasted like those guinea fowls. When they were sent to Europe, the English called these birds “turkeys” as well.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle
- Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving.
- Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
- The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighs 86 pounds.
- Californians consume the most turkey in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day!
- Female turkeys (called hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.
- The average turkey for Thanksgiving weighs 15 pounds.
- Campbell’s soup created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook 50 years ago. It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.
Sources: Smithsonian Magazine, Roto-Rooter, Census Bureau, National Women’s History Museum, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Library of Congress, AllParenting.com, CNN.Com, Government of Canada, WebMD, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dan Lewis’ “Now I Know: The Revealing Stories Behind The World’s Most Interesting Facts.”