Fun and interesting facts about Thanksgiving

Fun and interesting facts about Thanksgiving

Families all over the U.S. will gather to feast on their beloved turkey on the fourth Thursday of November. This year, impress your family with these Thanksgiving Day facts while tucking into the annual feast.

•  Three-day celebration. Held in the autumn of 1621, the first Thanksgiving was a three-day gathering between 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians to celebrate the Pilgrims’ successful corn harvest, according to the History Channel. Historians believe that turkey was not served during this feast.

•  National day of thanks. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on October 3,1863 to designate the Thursday in November as the national day of thanks, ushering in the modern holiday we celebrate today known as Thanksgiving. He did this after Sarah Josepha Hale — a writer and editor who had written the famous children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” — wrote Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward urging them to declare a national Thanksgiving holiday.

•  Turkey centerpiece. Nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 16 pounds, meaning that approximately 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving in 2016.

•  The lucky turkey pardoned by the President gets to live a cool life. The first official presidential pardon of a turkey occurred in 1989. President George W.H. Bush did it first and it has become an annual tradition. The lucky bird who gets spared, then, get to do some cool stuff. In 2005 and 2009, the turkeys were flown to Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks to serve as a grand marshall in their annual Thanksgiving parades. In 2010 to 2013, the turkeys get to stay at Washington’s Mount Vernon state.

•  Turkey hotline. The Butterball Turkey Talk Line answers almost 10,000 calls about all kinds of turkey questions every November to December. Last year, the company launched a 24-hour text message line, too

•  TV dinners. Using extra turkey (260 tons!) Swanson in 1953 received the idea that it should be packaged into aluminum trays with sides like potatoes and vegetables.

•  Black Friday busiest day for plumbers. According to Roto-rooter, kitchen drains, garbage disposals, and toilets require more attention the day after Thanksgiving. All that meal prepping puts a strain in the household plumbing, prompting a 21 percent increase in calls for plumbers.

•  Calorie intake. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average number of calories one may consume on this holiday is 4,500 — 3,000 for the meal and 1,500 for snacking.

•  Avoid travel. Thanksgiving Day is the busiest travel day of the year. In 2016, 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 on that day.

•  World records. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest turkey on record weighs 86 pounds. The largest pumpkin pie, made by New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, weighs 3,699 pounds with a diameter of 20 feet. The crust was made of 440 sheets of dough.

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