Interesting Thanksgiving Facts

As we get ready to officially begin the holiday season, here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving.

  • Now a traditional item on the Thanksgiving table, cranberries were used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and dye clothing.
  • When Thanksgiving was moved to the next-to-last Thursday in November by President Franklin D. Roosevelt  in order to prolong the holiday shopping season , temporary political mayhem ensued. Republicans were outraged and refused to celebrate the holiday on its new date. November 30 became the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 was the “Democratic Thanksgiving,” or “Franksgiving.” Congress had to pass a law in December 1941 declaring a unified Thanksgiving Day.
  • Thanksgiving football games began with Yale versus Princeton in 1876.
  • The first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in 1541. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his expedition held a thanksgiving celebration in Palo Duro Canyon  in the Texas Panhandle.
  • The average long-distance Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles. The average long-distance Christmas/New Years\’ trip is 275 miles.
  • Only male turkeys gobble and therefor are called gobblers. Baby turkeys are called poults.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
  • The average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat while eating and snacking on Thanksgiving.
  • The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was held in 1924. It was organized by immigrant employees who used floats, bands and animals from the Central Park Zoo, but no balloons. The animals were replaced by balloons in 1927. The Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade more than any other balloon.
  • Sarah Josepha Hale, the magazine editor and author who campaigned tirelessly in the mid-19th century to make Thanksgiving a national holiday also wrote the classic nursery rhyme, Mary Had A Little Lamb.