Here are some fun facts about Thanksgiving:
- First Thanksgiving: The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was a three-day feast attended by Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. It was more of a harvest celebration than a formal Thanksgiving as we think of it today.
- Thanksgiving Proclamation: In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. He set the date as the final Thursday in November, and it was later changed to the fourth Thursday by Congress in 1941.
- Turkey Pardoning: The tradition of the President pardoning a turkey and sparing it from being eaten for Thanksgiving began with President Harry S. Truman in 1947, though it wasn’t formalized until President George H.W. Bush in 1989.
- Thanksgiving Parade: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City began in 1924. It originally featured live animals from the Central Park Zoo.
- Football Tradition: Watching football on Thanksgiving is a popular tradition. The NFL started the Thanksgiving Classic games in 1920, and the Detroit Lions have hosted a game every Thanksgiving since 1934.
- Cranberry Sauce: The cylindrical shape of the canned cranberry sauce is due to the design of the can, not the natural form of the sauce. It retains the shape of the can even when served.
- Presidential Turkey Pardon: While the tradition of pardoning a turkey by the President is well-known, not all turkeys are so lucky. Many of the pardoned turkeys end up living out their days in petting zoos or on farms.
- Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
- Thanksgiving in Canada: Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving, but it falls on the second Monday of October. It is a time for Canadians to give thanks for a good harvest and blessings of the past year.
- Largest Pumpkin Pie: The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed over 3,699 pounds. It was created in New Bremen, Ohio, in 2010.
These fun facts add some interesting context to the traditions and history of Thanksgiving! We hope that you have a safe and happy holiday!