Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Few Fun Facts About Thanksgiving

I can’t believe another year has passed by so fast, and the holidays are upon us once again!

First, let me say I am thankful, as always, for my family and friends and the well-being bestowed on all of us. I’m also thankful my husband enjoys cooking turkey and making stuffing. I’ve never had my hand in any bird’s “cavity,” but we’ve put a Thanksgiving feast on the table for his family and mine for seventeen years now. Better yet, both sides of the family get along…as long as the conversation doesn’t wander into religion or politics.

In honor of the holiday, I wandered over to to check out a few fun facts about Thanksgiving. Here’s the remix of what I read:

In 1621 the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is now commonly thought of as the first Thanksgiving. They may have eaten wild turkey but also cod, eel, clams and lobster. They did not eat sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, as these items were not common at the time.

Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey would be a better national symbol for the United States than the bald eagle. He thought the turkey was “a much more respectable Bird" and "a true original Native of America."

Abraham Lincoln was not the first American president to proclaim a national day for thanksgiving. George Washington, John Adams and James Madison all issued proclamations urging Americans to observe days of thanksgiving.

In 1863 Lincoln did, however, declare the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. But in 1939, Franklin Roosevelt decreed the holiday should always be celebrated on the fourth (instead of the occasional fifth) Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season by one week. Great controversy broke out, and it took Congress two years to pass a resolution making the fourth Thursday a legal national holiday. [Some things never change]

Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America.

The cranberry is one of only three fruits—the others are the blueberry and the Concord grape—that are entirely native to North American soil, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association.

Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird: Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, Louisiana; and Turkey, North Carolina.

The first Thanksgiving NFL football game was broadcasted in 1934: the Detroit Lions versus the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium.

Snoopy has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade.

My son, a great fan of Snoopy the Flying Ace, is celebrating his birthday today on Thanksgiving. [Okay, that’s not on but maybe it should be] Happy birthday to my teenager! Love you lots!!

So what’s your favorite Thanksgiving food, fact, or memory? And Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble, gobble :)


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Lisa, thanks for all the information on Thanksgiving! It's really nice to know a little bit more.

And Happy Birthday to your son!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

What a fun post! Thanks, Lisa, for doing the homework for the rest of us.

I cannot have Thanksgiving without mincemeat pie. Even if I go out for the meal or travel or spend it at someone else's home, if there is no mince pie, I will buy one for myself (even if it does give me indigestion). Besides loving it, it reminds me of my mother. She always made mincemeat pie at the holidays even though she and I were the only ones in the family who liked it.

Happy Holidays - and Happy Birtday to your son!

Lisa Bork said...

Sue Ann, I like mincemeat pie. I'm the only one in my family. Didn't get it this year. Maybe next :)

Elizbeth and Sue Ann, thanks for the good wishes for my son.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for the fun facts, Lisa! Since I spent my teenage years in Virgina, my favorite Thanksgiving dishes are my Mom's, of course, and they have a Southern origin:
Pecan pie
Oyster casserole
Creamed onions with Virginia peanuts

Keith Raffel said...

Thanks, Lisa. Was at my sister's yesterday where she carries on my mother's traditions. Memories! Favorite was sweet potatoes with a nut topping. BTW, at Men of Mystery last weekend, sat next to a woman who was crazy for cars and told her about you.

Keith Raffel said...

My daughter says pumpkins are another native North American fruit. What say you?

G.M. Malliet said...

Lisa - I would have to hold out for pecan pie as the must-have for Thanksgiving.

Am I allowed to say I don't really like pumpkin pie?