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Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Fun Facts about the First Thanksgiving

  • 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

  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
  • 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 third October 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 1920's.
  • In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.
  • Congress to passed 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 Facts about Thanksgiving Today

  • In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
  • Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey.
  • Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.
  • Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
  • Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

  • 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 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
  • The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in 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.
  • A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
  • Turkeys have poor night vision.
  • 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.

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