From which president made Thanksgiving an official holiday to how many turkeys the Americans consume on the holiday, these Thanksgiving facts work perfectly as no-fuss conversation starters that won’t begin arguments as you pass the peas.
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated only for one day — maybe two if you count Black Friday. In the year 1621, the settlers’ first corn harvest came out to be good and therefore Governor William Bradford invited the Plymouth colonists’ Native American allies to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. The Wampanoag tribe members brought a variety of food to share and as they joined the Pilgrims, the revellers decided to extend the affair.
2. The menu for the first Thanksgiving dinner in Plymouth—was not Turkey.
Nobody is quite sure if the mighty bird that now marks the centrepiece of our tables was even part of the actual menu. However, few records prove the people back then indulged in other interesting foods like local fowl, deer, seals, and lobsters.
3. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 didn’t feature any balloons rather it had live animals from the Central Park Zoo.
Yes! The first parade which made its big debut in 1924 had animals including bears, elephants, camels, and monkeys from the Zoo. In addition to the animals, there were four bands, a large Santa float, and costumed Macy’s employees, also.
4. Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first-ever TV dinner.
In 1953, the influential food corporation Swanson & Sons accidentally ordered a colossal shipment of turkeys. To get rid of them all, salesman Gerry Thomas came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminium trays with 260 tons of leftover meat and sell them. The idea was a hit, especially amongst kids and busy households.
5. Earlier Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday in November — not the fourth.
President Lincoln established the Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 on the fourth Thursday of November but in 1939 President Roosevelt tried to change the date, making it fall a week later. He believed that this would boost trade and alleviate the crippling economy but the idea didn’t catch on and the date of the celebration was moved back to the original one.
6. Americans Consume around 46 Million Turkeys on Thanksgiving each year.
While not so popular the rest of the year, turkey is a massive hit for Thanksgiving, perhaps because it really serves a crowd. This is twice the number of Turkeys that are eaten the following month, on Christmas Day.
7. The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also responsible for giving it recognition as a national holiday.
It is believed that, in part, the decision was taken after Sarah Josepha Hale lobbied Congress for years to make Thanksgiving an official holiday. If it wasn’t for this resolute woman, this wonderful day wouldn’t exist today.
If you know more such facts, do let us know by a tweet on our handle living_uni and showcase your knowledge to the rest of the people.