Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. – Henry Van Dyke
Fun, Food and family of course, makes Thanksgiving one of the most awaited festivities of the year. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November,. Enthusiasm is a must, gifts with big hearts is an expected thing, cranberry is a ritual that can’t miss the dinner table, baked potatoes are warm heartedly welcomed and the food stories go on. It is nothing less than charming to know about how it all began.
The mother of Thanksgiving ,Sarah Josepha Hale is the true wonder woman behind the successful promotion of this event into a festival. Without the famous ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ poet, this wouldn’t have happened. According to her, “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”
The feeling of gratitude is one of a kind which is satisfaction indeed. Thus not pulling its out hand out of this wonderful festival, in 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp.The stamp depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase “We Give Thanks.” Cornucopia is a much mentioned term heard in Greek mythology. It is said to provide its bearer food in abundance.
The most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621.
After more than 200 years, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Which was finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.
Fun Fact: Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas, Turkey Creek, Louisiana and Turkey, North Carolina. Strange how a birds name is up and about in the country.
Best of advertising can be learnt from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924.
Tony Sarg, a children’s book illustrator and puppeteer, first the first to design a hot air balloon exclusively for Macy’s Parade.
Snoopy the giant balloon has become one of the must-haves in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Thanksgiving is a major part in the history of sports and media as well. The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country–the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Fans watched the game on television for the first time. Now that is a milestone well conquered.
Thanksgiving means the season of turkeys. The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving.
The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is usually 15 pounds.
Cranberry production in the U.S. was 750 million pounds in 2011. This proves that cranberry’s absence is unacceptable on the dinner table on thanksgiving.
Total U.S. production of pumpkins is over 1.5 billion pounds annually. Thus the tradition of pumpkin pies continue.
The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable. Carbs accepted on thanksgiving!
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long.
Pardoning a racoon on thanksgiving which ended up becoming a pet than being served on the dinner table became history to be remembered. In late November 1926, a live animal sent by one Vinnie Joyce of Nitta Yuma, arrived at the White House to be slaughtered and served up for that year’s Thanksgiving dinner. President Calvin Coolidge, however, became smitten by the beast and instead granted it a pardon. The lucky creature was no turkey, though, but a raccoon.
No ‘Stuffings’ availiable for the menu, it is rather an offense one asked for it. It is always ‘dressings’ mainly of pork that is served on the thanksgiving.
Food recipes were invented around the country to make the festive occasion even more Since many Southern cooks had plenty of stale biscuits to spare, a biscuit-based dressing became standard in parts of the Deep South.
William Strickland was the first to introduce turkey to his native England in the 16th century. As a tribute to the man and his bird, a turkey was added to the Strickland family coat of arms, which is still in use today.
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.
A restriction on turkey, cranberries and food in general is a big no-no on this day.
The first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighs 86 pounds. Guess we’ll have more turkey on the dinner table.
Californians consume the most turkey in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day!
A fun fact, female turkeys (called hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble. Certain delicate terms make a lot of difference on such occaisions.
Campbell’s soup created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook 50 years ago. It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.A new recipe added on the thanksgiving menu card.
The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621. Many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn’t survive that difficult first year in the U.S.
Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until over 200 years later! Sarah Josepha Hale wrote letters for 17 years to president Lincoln for the rights of this day.
No turkey on the menu at the first Thanksgiving was served
The first ever thanksgiving had a different looking meu altogether where people ate pumpkins, since pumpkin pies weren’t a thing back then. They also didn’t eat mashed potatoes or cranberry dressings, but they did have cranberries. And no, Turduckens (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) were nowhere to be found during that first Thanksgiving.
No forks at the first Thanksgiving! The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives, but no forks! Since forks weren’t even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren’t a popular utensil until the 18th century.
Thanksgiving is the reason for today’s trend:TV dinners! In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminium trays with other sides like sweet potatoes, and the first TV dinner was born!
Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food. On the joining of the Wampanoag Indians, it turned their fast into a three-day feast!
Presidential pardon of a turkey: Each year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.
Why is Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November? President Lincoln said Thanksgiving would be the fourth Thursday in November, but in 1939 President Roosevelt moved it up a week hoping it would help the shopping season during the Depression era. It never really made an impact apart from making people angry and so it was changed back two years later.
Turkey isn’t responsible for drowsiness or the dreaded “food coma.” In fact its chicken that is more responsible than turkeys for the drowsy feeling experienced.
Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when they are scared, but domesticated turkeys that are bred are heavier and can’t run quite that fast. Little turkey facts here and there is always round the corner during thanksgiving.
It is a known fact that Thanksgiving is one of the second most popular festivals after Christmas.
As shocking as it may seem, the song ‘Jingle Bells’ was originally written for Thanksgiving.
Food is not were the story ends, rewind to the previous day and you’ll know. The night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking night of the year. Image via