Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

In English tradition, Days of Thanksgiving date all the way back to 1578.

Brought over to the US from England, Thanksgiving traces back to a poorly documented celebration at Plymouth in 1621.  The Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. They gave thanks for God’s blessings.

The first Thanksgiving actually occurred in October and not November.

The celebration lasted 3 days starting with a meeting of 50 English colonists and 90 Wampanoag Indian men.

The meal probably consisted of meats like venison, poultry, fish, lobsters and clams along with nuts, pumpkins, peas, squashes, carrots and wheat flour.

On November 26, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide Thanksgiving celebration in the US, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God”  (Hodgson, p.167)

Not long after the devastating Gettysburg battle during the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as an official American holiday.

President Abraham Lincoln started the turkey-pardoning trend, and every year since the US President pardons a turkey.

President Franklin D Roosevelt, on December 26, 1941 signed a joint resolution of Congress making the nation day of Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

The American south originally thought of Thanksgiving as a “Yankee” holiday and did not celebrate it until after the Civil War. The states them became united and Thanksgiving was celebrated everywhere.

The first football game that occurred on Thanksgiving Day was the Chicago Bears vs. the Detroit Lions in 1934.

The top five turkey-producing states in 2012 were (by number raised): Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia.  (NASS 2013) 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked was over 12 feet long and weighed 2,020 pounds. It consisted of 900 pounds of pumpkins, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 3.5 pounds of salt, seven pounds of cinnamon, two pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of pie crust.

Here’s wishing you a very happy and fun filled Thanksgiving!!