President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 when he proclaimed the last Thursday of every November as a “day of thanksgiving”. Thank you Abe!
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the 3rd Thursday of November during the Depression to give merchants more time to sell Christmas merchandise. And in 1941, Congress changed it back to the last Thursday of November. FDR must've had a premonition about how early merchants are willing to start selling Christmas merchandise!
Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday. But they do it every year on the second Monday of October. Canadians call the United States version of turkey day “Yanksgiving” to distinguish our holiday from theirs. Those cooky Canucks!
Swanson foods apparently miscalculated how many turkeys it would sell in 1953. The company had such a huge surplus of turkey that some marketing genius decided they should package it in aluminum and sell it with sides. And so the TV dinner was born!
According to plumbing giant Roto-Rooter, Black Friday aka “the day after Thanksgiving” is the busiest day for plumbers. ... Um, we’ll resist the temptation to include some toilet humor here, so just use your imagination as to why that is. Ewwww.
Those beautiful birds we like to gobble up for Thanksgiving got their names from the English because guinea fowls (birds native of Africa) were imported to Europe by Turkish merchants. So they started calling them turkeys. Who would've thought that turkeys aren't actually from Turkey?
Four major places in the USA are named after Turkey: Turkey Creek, Louisiana; Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona. There are probably more than four.
While it’s popular to say “gobble gobble” as a Thanksgiving catchphrase, only male turkeys actually gobble. Female turkeys don’t gobble, but cackle instead. Somehow "cackle cackle" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
When the first Thanksgiving actually took place is debatable. But the history books teach us that the traditional Thanksgiving as we know it first happened during the three-day pilgrim celebration that happened in 1621 at Plymouth Colony, in present day Massachusetts. First come, first serve?
Since 1947, a pre-Thanksgiving tradition is for the United States President to pardon a turkey during a White House ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. During the ceremony, the President is presented with one live turkey, which he "pardons" from being slaughtered. After being pardoned, the turkey gets to live out its days on a farm. Lucky bastard! ... Oops, pardon my French hen.
Thanksgiving Day is the busiest travel day of the year. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has estimated that over 42 million Americans travel by car 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend. Another 4 million people travel by air to visit their loved ones for the holiday. So there's really nothing better than a family meal.
According to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. And around 212 million turkeys are consumed each year. Turkeys are said to have been the most plentiful meat at the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. This is probably why it has become the traditional main course for the holiday. ... Wait, wait, there's actually a National Turkey Federation?
The wishbone tradition consists of two people tugging on either end of the bone trying to win the larger piece. And the person who gets the larger piece gets to make a wish. It's a good luck tradition that is said to date back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C. Hang up the phone and break a wishbone.
Football is a major part of the United States Thanksgiving celebration. And it has become synonymous with Thanksgiving dating back to the first college football game between Yale and Princeton that was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1876. So if the pigskin is not your thing, the best part of the turkey is the skin.
If you’re going to attempt to hunt down the Thanksgiving turkey yourself, make sure it doesn’t get angry! Wild turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour when scared! So if you scare a turkey into running that fast, make sure it doesn't get angry too and start chasing you!
Turkey has L-tryptophan, which is known to cause drowsiness, which may contribute to why we feel so sleepy after eating it. But really the act of overeating anything is known to deplete your energy because your body needs the energy to digest all of that food. Nappy Thanksgiving!