It’s that time of year when we pause to give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives—our beautiful family, our wonderful friends, our health, a warm house to live in, great theatre to watch, and so much more!
As we often do, we love to research the origins of things and Thanksgiving is no exception.
First of all, National Geographic has a great mini series showing right now (with rebroadcasting on Thursday), called Saints & Strangers:
“Saints & Strangers is a story that goes beyond the familiar historical account of Thanksgiving and the founding of Plymouth Plantation, revealing the trials and tribulations of the settlers at Plymouth: 102 men, women and children who sailed on a chartered ship for a place they had never seen. Of this group, half are those we think of as “pilgrims,” religious separatists who abandoned their prior lives for a single cause: religious freedom. The other half, the “merchant adventurers,” had less spiritual and more material, real-world objectives. This clash of values created complex inner struggles for the group as they sought to establish a new colony, compounded by a complicated relationship with the local Native American tribes. The conflicting allegiances among these groups culminated in trials of assimilation, faith, and compromise, that continued to define our nation to this day.”
Secondly, in our search we found some great Thanksgiving trivia and we thought we’d share some of them with you—a bit of food for thought, if you will! You can find the whole list of trivia items here.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THANKSGIVING!
- The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.
- 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.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
- 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.
- In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
- Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
- Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
- 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.
- 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 poor night vision.
Whether you are traveling across the country, down the street, or simply walking into your dining room; whether you are watching the parade, football, or your favorite holiday movies; whether you celebrate with family, friends, or simply by yourself, we wish you the very best for a happy Thanksgiving.
Philip & Marilyn