Thanksgiving Fun Facts
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and food. The last Thursday of November has become a day to reflect on everything you are grateful for and a time to reconnect with family members. A day that, in my mind, kicks off the holiday season, Thanksgiving has become a staple across American homes. Below are five fun facts that you can share about Thanksgiving to impress your family and friends.
- There is no record of a turkey being eaten at the first Thanksgiving
There is no evidence a turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving that took place in Plymouth. It is strange to think there was no turkey on the table for the first Thanksgiving. With that said, it doesn’t mean that the original Thanksgiving was not a feast. At that first meal there was food such as bass, deer, lobster, mussels and a variety of fruits. Although most of the now traditional Thanksgiving foods were not present, it is believed pumpkins were present at the first Thanksgiving.
- George H.W. Bush pardoned a turkey
Yes, you read that correctly. President Bush pardoned a turkey. It is a tradition that farmers give the President a turkey for the first family to eat. In the fall of 1989, President George H.W. Bush decided to pardon a turkey, and ever since then, subsequent presidents have also pardoned the gifted turkeys.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the official bird of the United States of America
One of the most important people in the history of the United States wanted the official bird to be the turkey and not the bald eagle to which we are now accustomed. According to Franklin himself, the turkey was a “more respectable Bird” than the bald eagle that was ultimately selected as the national bird.
- Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song
The song “Jingle Bells”, which is blasted throughout the Christmas season originally was a Thanksgiving song. An 1857 song written by James Lord Pierpont named “One Horse Open Sleigh” was initially a Thanksgiving song, but because of its popularity it was changed to “Jingle Bells” and is now played predominantly during the Christmas season.
- Thanksgiving football
Football has become a mainstay of Thanksgiving. If you have not noticed, two teams play every year on Thanksgiving: the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions. Although these two teams do not play each other every single Thanksgiving, you will see these two franchises suit up every Thanksgiving Thursday. The Dallas Cowboys have played on Thanksgiving since 1966, with the exception of two years, and the Detroit Lions have played on Thanksgiving dating back to 1934.
Now as you sit down with your family for a Thanksgiving feast, you are equipped with some fun facts your family and friends may not know. Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe!