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.
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
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
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.