On the fourth Thursday in November millions of Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends with a traditional feast which includes turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.
Only about half of the original Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony settlers, survived a very hard year from fall 1620 to fall 1621 with the other half saved from starvation by the Wampanoag who gave them food and taught them farming and food preparation and storage in their new land as well as ways to survive the bitter cold winter.
With the Pilgrim’s first bountiful harvest in the fall of 1621, they held a day of Thanksgiving with 91 Native Americans. We now celebrate this American tradition as a remembrance of that first Thanksgiving.
Here are some fun Thanksgiving Day facts and figures to share with your family and friends as you carve this year’s turkey.
The 1621 Thanksgiving lasted three days and included games. It did not include women or children.
The first national Thanksgiving was declared by President George Washington in 1789.
Thanksgiving became a national holiday, to be observed the last Thursday of November, by proclamation under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
To allow for a longer holiday shopping season, President Franklin Roosevelt defined Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
The word Pilgrim means foreigner or traveler from afar coming from the Latin word “peregrinus.”
In the U.S. there are 37 places and townships named Plymouth and only one township named Pilgrim.
Seafood and venison were most likely served at the first Thanksgiving and not turkey.
248 million turkeys are expected to be raised in the U.S.
46 million turkeys are expected to be consumed on Thanksgiving Day at an average weight of 16-17 pounds per turkey.
750 million pounds of cranberries, 2.4 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, and 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins are expected to be raised in the U.S.
Drinking alcoholic beverages and overeating are more likely the reasons you might be falling asleep on the couch after a Thanksgiving Day meal than the effects of the Trytophan amount in the turkey.
Top 5 busiest airports for Thanksgiving travel are: 1. Chicago O’Hare International, 2. Los Angeles International, 3. Logan International, 4. LaGuardia International, and 5. San Francisco International.
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924.
As we have fun with our family and friends on Thanksgiving, enjoying our feast and football, many do take a moment to express what they are thankful for in their lives. Family and friends usually top this list. What else are you grateful for this year?
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