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Fun Thanksgiving Facts

Updated on November 7, 2013


Thanksgiving oh that special holiday where family and friends gather together, give thanks, stuff themselves silly and maybe watch some football. I know some people who say this is their favorite holiday. You get together with loved ones without the pressure of buying gifts or doing a lot of decorating.

Sometimes it seems that Thanksgiving doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It is mowed over by Christmas (a holiday that is truly magical), but somehow overshadows the turkey day. This article will give the reader some fun facts about Thanksgiving to give the day the honor it deserves.

Benjamin Franklin was a fan of the Turkey

Benjamin Franklin believed that the turkey should have been our national symbol instead of the eagle. He thought that the turkey being a native American bird was more respectable. He felt that the turkey had courage and would defend his territory as we Americans would. He, on the other hand, thought the eagle was a bit cowardly and that this bird that was no larger than a sparrow would drive him from his territory.

Thanksgiving Beginnings

I think everyone probably knows that the Pilgrims began our first Thanksgiving back in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They had a good harvest and felt they needed to give thanks for all their blessings.

During the Revolution days people like John Hancock and General George Washington gave proclamations to give thanks.

Thanksgiving continued through the years, but not everyone celebrated on the same day. Each state did had different days. All of that changed in 1941 when Franklin Roosevelt created our official Thanksgiving Day. He made it a national holiday. Thank you President Roosevelt.

Why did Turkey become our main course?

Our first Thanksgiving was food that was readily available lobster, goose, duck , seal, eel and cod. What a feast that must have been. There was also deer meat and wild fowl.

In England the goose was the meat of choice. In America finding a goose wasn’t that easy, so the Pilgrims substituted with turkey and the rest is history.

How’s this for celebrating

The first Thanksgiving lasted three days. Can you imagine that today? We usually stuff ourselves silly and feel like we will never eat again. Doing that for three days would call for a new wardrobe and probably a medic.

Where do the most turkeys come from?

Minnesota comes in first with Jennie-O and the Cargill brands. In second place is North Carolina with the Butterball brand. In third place is Arkansas with the Tyson brand.

46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas, and 19 million on Easter.

What if you don’t have time or the inclination to make pies

Frozen pies to the rescue according to Slash Foods here are the best of the frozen brands:

Dutch Apple pie the winner is Marie Callender 100% apple and a flaky crust.

Best regular apple pie goes to Mrs. Smith great crust and the apples are firm

Pumpkin Pie was not at the first Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie didn’t make it to the first Thanksgiving probably due to lack of ingredients and the cost of them. That changed for the second Thanksgiving it is when the pumpkin pie made its appearance and it has been a tradition ever since.

Football Tradition

We have a man named G.A. Richards to thank for it. He bought the Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to Detroit. To compete with the popular Tigers he decided to get publicity by playing the Detroit Lions against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. It was a hit and from 1934 till now the tradition continues.

Black Friday

The tradition of Black Friday began in the 1960’s in Philadelphia. This term applies to when a store sells so much merchandise that they get out of the red and into the black of profits.

Macy’s Day Parade

This parade began in 1924 and real animals were used then. In 1927 Goodyear changed that when they came up with the balloon of Felix the Cat. In 1934 Mickey Mouse made his first appearance. Now Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without seeing the parade in New York and all the creative balloons that go by.

The best movie with a Thanksgiving theme

We all know the great Christmas movies out there, but what about Thanksgiving? Here is a great movie that has Thanksgiving as a major subject .

Planes,Trains,and Automobiles this movie starring Steve Martin and the late great John Candy ranks number one. It was made in 1987. Steve Martin is just trying to get home for Thanksgiving and he meets up with John Candy and can’t seem to get rid of him. It is a comedy and a movie that will touch your heart at the same time.

Hope you enjoyed a few facts about Thanksgiving. It truly is a special holiday with traditions that make us feel its memories of days past and present. May the tradition live on forever.


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    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you tiffany delite for your great comments. I am glad you enjoyed reading the article. I love Thanksgiving too it is just a relaxing time with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on how blessed we are in our lives.

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 5 years ago from united states

      thank you so much for this hub...thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and it was fun to read all these fun facts about it! i am so so so so so so glad that thanksgiving is right around the! blessings...

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you faithbuilder23 for your kind words. Christmas is my favorite holiday so I will have plenty of inspiration to write about it:)

    • faithbuilder23 profile image

      faithbuilder23 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Very interesting facts...Can't wait to see what you write about Christmas...keep writing..voted up!!!!

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you Jackie I am glad you liked it. I do enjoy the day too. I have tradition of starting our Thanksgiving having a piece of pumpkin pie and watching the parade on CBS. Later it is the turkey, dressing, etc. I love all the aromas going on that day

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very interesting facts. I find Thanksgiving a very relaxing holiday.

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thanks. Alecia I think the Pilgrims really knew how to celebrate. Glad you liked the article.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I would have liked to have been at the first Thanksgiving- they had lobster! Now that's kind of meal :). These are some fun and interesting facts. Voted up and more!