The Thanksgiving You Didn’t Know About

by Nick Livermore

It’s almost Thanksgiving and we wanted to share some interesting facts with you. Below, we have detailed 18 interesting facts that you may not know about one of America’s favorite days. Be sure to tout these to your family and friend’s next week, and don’t forget to tell them that you learned it at!

  1. The author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Sarah Hale, was instrumental in creating Thanksgiving Day.
  2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
  3. 20% of all the cranberries eaten annually are consumed on Thanksgiving.
  4. An average of 280 million turkeys are sold each Thanksgiving.
  5. At full maturity, a turkey has 3,500 feathers.
  6. President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving to an earlier Thursday in an effort to boost the economy.
  7. Among Abraham Lincoln’s speeches was the Thanksgiving Proclamation, which officially declared the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.
  8. Thomas Jefferson once referred to Thanksgiving as “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.”
  9. A group of turkeys is actually called a “rafter”, not a “gobble” or a “flock.”
  10. The origin of the word turkey got its roots from the Ottoman Empire.
  11. There are twice as many house fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Texas ranks number one in turkey fires.
  12. The modern turkey has been bred with such large breasts that natural reproduction has become difficult and many turkey eggs have to be artificially inseminated.
  13. More than 44 million people watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV each year and 3 million attend in person.
  14. The people of the US Virgin Islands celebrate Hurricane Thanksgiving Day each October 19 where, if there has been no hurricane that year, they give thanks that their island has been spared.
  15. The first Thanksgiving Day football game was played between Yale and Princeton in 1876.
  16. The first ever TV dinner was actually created after Swanson severely overestimated the consumer demand for turkey and were left with a surplus of food.
  17. Turkeys are capable of running at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
  18. The Turducken was invented in Louisiana, and was popularized on national TV by football legend John Madden.

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