- The first Thanksgiving in North America was on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. Some say it was 1578, when an explorer Martin Frobisher held a Thanksgiving celebration for surviving his journey from England. The English settlers celebrated Thanksgiving on December 4, 1619, near Jamestown Virginia. The Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in 1621, but they did not hold a true Thanksgiving until 1623.
- The trip to Plymouth Rock took 66 days, with 105 passengers (2 died on the way), and a crew of an estimated 25-30. William Bradford wrote everything we know about the trip.
- The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land, and were invited to the 3-day Thanksgiving meal/feast.
- The Pilgrims did not celebrate Easter or Christmas, as they believed they were based on Pagan celebrations.
- The Mayflower, the Pilgrims’ ship, is also called ‘Epigaea repens’.
- A second ship called the Mayflower made a voyage from London to Plymouth Colony in 1629 carrying thirty-five passengers; the original was likely scrapped after its trip home.
- Benjamin Franklin argued that the Turkey should be our National Bird.
- Writer Sarah Josepha Hale pushed Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She said “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.” She is best known for writing “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
- The traditional cornucopia is a traditional harvest festival symbol, and was originally a curved goat’s horn filled to brim with fruits and grains.
- Turkeys are Native To North America
- A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
- Male Turkeys are called Toms, female turkeys are called Hens and baby turkeys are called Poults.
- In the United States, 32 counties, places and townships are named Plymouth.
- Minnesota is the top turkey producing state.
- Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states. North Carolina gets credit for sweet potatoes.
- Cranberries are primarily grown in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Cranberries weren’t even present at the first Thanksgiving.
- There were no mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, or even corn on the cob at the first Thanksgiving feast.
- 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, making Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
- Sleepy after eating on T-Day? Some blame Tryptophan, because it sets off a chemical chain reaction that calms you down and makes you sleepy.
- NBC Radio broadcast the first national Thanksgiving Day football game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears.
- Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada. Canadians sometimes call the American Thanksgiving as “Yanksgiving.”
- Black Friday is the busiest day for shopping… AND Plumbers!
Thanksgiving Turkey Tip:
A turkey should never be carved until it has been out of the oven at least 30 minutes. This permits the inner cooking to subside and the internal meat juices to stop running.
Once the meat sets, it’s easier to carve clean, neat slices.
Spread this wonderful bit of knowledge, right before, or right after, Dad carves up the bird!