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15 Facts About Thanksgiving You Didn't Know

Updated on November 8, 2014

Thanksgiving is a day that Americans celebrate when Native Americans and the pilgrims sat down to share a meal in hopes that they could work together to survive very long cold winter, because the pilgrims were not adequately prepared to live in the New World. Test your knowledge to see how much you know about Thanksgiving and its traditions.

1. For the first Thanksgiving, the meal the Native American shared with the Pilgrims did not last for one day, but instead three full days.

2. For the first Thanksgiving, the Native Americans brought five deer, so venison was definitely on the menu.

3. Our traditional American Thanksgiving menu was not on the first Thanksgiving table. The Native Americans and pilgrims did not have potatoes, pumpkins, and they did not have turkey on the menu.

4. The first official thanksgiving was not celebrated until 200 years later after the first Thanksgiving. It was because of George Washington in 1789 that we celebrate Thanksgiving today.

5. It was because of Mary Hale, the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" that Thanksgiving became a nation wide holiday. She was the individual who wrote a recipe book with the most common entrées on the thanksgiving menu such as pumpkin pie, turkey, casseroles, etc.

6. George Bush Senior was the first president to pardon turkey on Thanksgiving.

7. The date we celebrate Thanksgiving has changed three times, we now celebrate it on the fourth Thursday of November.

8. American spend $3.6 billion on buying turkeys for this Thanksgiving.

9. The average American gains 1 pound on Thanksgiving.

10. Abraham Lincoln was the President to make Thanksgiving a federal holiday, and he did this so there could be a temporary truce on Thanksgiving instead of waiting four more weeks for Christmas.

11. The first Macy's Day Parade started in 1924.

12. While the Native Americans brought deer to the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims brought the beer. A tradition was born.

13. The first Thanksgiving football game was a stage production in order to try to get as many people want to go see Denver play because no one was going to the games otherwise.

14. Jingle bells was actually written for Thanksgiving not Christmas.

15. President James Madison actually petitioned Congress for there to be two Thanksgivings each year not just one.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


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    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Merrylu!

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Ms. Deeds!

    • Tricia Deed profile image

      Tricia Deed 

      4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Thanksgiving Day is a good idea regardless of how it all came about. Interesting facts. Enjoyed the facts.

    • merrylu profile image


      4 years ago

      Very interesting, Alli Rose. Nice to learn more facts about Thanksgiving. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Happy Thanksgiving, Alli!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      It's always fun learning about things we "think" we know. Love this holiday even without the turkey. Macy's parade is a must along with the Mummer's.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting hub. I came to know a lot about this Thanksgiving celebration by reading your article. Thanks for sharing these facts.

      Wish you a Happy Thanksgiving celebration and a Merry Christmas in advance.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. That gave me an advantage when I lived in Seattle, because Canada celebrates theirs the second Monday in October. Those who live near the border get to celebrate twice!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      4 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Didn't know much except the Indians and pilgrims came together on this day in peace. And I can't wait to eat turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. All I know is I don't know much about the tradition but thanks to the fabulous meal I'm so glad something happened.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Yikes! The quote I got it from said Denvers team and I thought it was the kind, thanks for letting me know!

    • Lisa Lucero profile image


      4 years ago from Colorado

      It's the Detroit Lions. Denver's team is the Broncos.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      :) Happy Turkey Day to you too!


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