We pause from our usual pursuit of commerce and learning to give thanks for our families, our staff here at PSSI, our wonderful customers, and to all who matter in our lives.
Once again this year, on Thanksgiving Day, we reprise last year’s post where we shared a few fun facts accumulated from various sources about this special holiday. We take no credit, and no blame, for any of them. But we do wish you and yours a happy and warm Thanksgiving holiday.
- The first Thanksgiving was not a feast, but rather a time when Native Americans helped Pilgrims by bringing them food and helping them build off the land.
- Turkey is the traditional dish for the Thanksgiving feast. In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations. There is no official reason or declaration for the use of turkey. They just happened to be the most plentiful meat available at the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, starting the tradition.
- Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, where peacocks are found in considerable number. And he believed turkeys were a type of peacock (they’re actually a type of pheasant). So he named them “tuka”, which is “peacock” in the Tamil language of India.
- The Plymouth Pilgrims dined with the Wampanoag Indians for the First Thanksgiving, feast that lasted for three days.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
- Abraham Lincoln issued a ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation’ on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.
- The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920’s.
- In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.
- Congress to passed a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
- Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He “pardons” it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.
- Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
- Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
- Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.
- 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
- Thomas Jefferson thought the concept of Thanksgiving was “the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard.”
- Fifty percent of Americans put the stuffing inside the Turkey.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE. May we truly appreciate this day, and those who surround us.