Sunday, November 24, 2013

Strange But True Facts About Thanksgiving

Most historians agree the origin of what we celebrate as Thanksgiving began in 1621 as the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock celebrated with a meal with the native Americans. There may have been fall feasts at other settlements prior to this, but most of those settlements did not survive. There is no record of a Thanksgiving celebration at Jamestown.  The tribe which celebrated with the Pilgrams was the Wampznoag tribe, who taught them to grow crops.

There was no turkey or corn at the first Thanksgiving. The menu was thought to be  lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese .  The feast lasted 3 days.

President Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' October 3rd, 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924. 

Beginning in 1947, the National Turkey Foundation began sending the President 2 dressed turkey's and one live turkey which the President "pardoned." The live turkey spends it's days on a refuge.

Minnesota produces the most turkeys (46 million), followed by North Carolina (36 million).

Each Year, around 280 million turkeys are purchased. The average weight of the turkey is 15. pounds, with 70% white meat and 30% dark.

88% of all Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

The biggest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds.

Commercially raised turkey's do not have the ability to fly but wild turkeys can fly short distances at 55 mph and run at up to 20 mph.

Wild turkeys almost became extinct in the 1900s but now there wild turkeys in every state but Alaska.

Selective breeding commercially has caused turkey breasts to grow so large, the turkeys fall over.

There is more protein in turkey than chicken or beef.

The most popular turkey leftover is the turkey sandwich.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 4,300 fires occur on Thanksgiving causing 15 deaths and almost $27 million in property damage, many of them due to accidents while attempting to deep fry turkeys. 

45 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving while 22 million turkeys are eaten at Christmas.


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