With the feast of turkeys and dressing on its way and pies just waiting to be baked, it is time to get into the spirit of the season and gratitude and thanks. There is more that goes on around end the of November than just black Friday and feasting and the holiday has some pretty interesting history too. Here are some fun facts about thanksgiving:
Including 50 pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and only 5 women, the very first thanksgiving was celebrated over a three-day feast in 1621!
Speaking of the first thanksgiving, rather than turkey and ham, the meal consisted of more kinds of seafood than anything. Instead the meal most likely included venison, duck, goose, oysters, eel, and fish. It probably also included pumpkins and cranberries, but not in the fun pies or sauces we see them in today!
George Washington was the first to declare thanksgiving a holiday, but it had to be redeclared year to year. It wasn’t declared an official holiday until Sarah Joseph Hale (author of Mary had a little Lamb) asked Abraham Lincoln to do so for 17 years through letters.
Thomas Jefferson was the only president who wouldn’t redeclare thanksgiving a holiday, apparently calling it “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived” and considered it a violation of the first amendment.
There are four states with a town called turkey: Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
The average number of calories consumed during thanksgiving is 4,500.
And speaking of which, the average number of fat consumed can be up to 229 grams.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade used to be called the Macy’s Christmas Parade until it was renamed in 1927.
Minnesota produces the most turkeys in the U.S.
Perhaps not an uncommon fact, but still fun, Benjamin Franklin wanted the United States’ national bird to be the Turkey, not the Bald Eagle.
The night before thanksgiving is supposedly the highest day in sales for most bars in the United States.
“Jingle Bells” was originally a thanksgiving song, but it was so popular they continued to play it through the Christmas season and it then became more associated with Christmas instead.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once tried to change the date of thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second to last Thursday in November.