Some fun and interesting facts about Thanksgiving.
*The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.
*During the first winter in 1621, 46 of the 102 pilgrims died.
*By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the Mayflower, survived. The survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.
*They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621.
*The feast was all prepared by the four women settlers and two teenage girls.
*52 Pilgrims attended the 'First Thanksgiving' in 1621 including: John Alden, William Bradford, Priscilla Mullins and Miles Standish
*The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians also to the feast.
*The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
*According to Edward Winslow, a participant in the First Thanksgiving, the feast consisted of: Corn, Barley, Fowl including Wild Turkeys and Waterfowl and Venison and the celebration lasted for three days and included games and food.
*Approximately 50 Native Americans attended the 'First Thanksgiving' including: Massasoit and Squanto - the Pilgrim's Translator.
*President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.
*The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.
*Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and it was result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.
*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. Whereas earlier the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held.
*President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored Thursday before last of November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy of the state.
*Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that now onwards Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
*The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.
*The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.
*The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country--the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.
*3 is the number of places nationwide named after the holiday's tasty gobbler. Turkey, Texas, is the most populous, with 496 residents; followed by Turkey Creek, La. (357); and Turkey, N.C. (267). There also are 16 townships around the country named "Turkey," three of them in Kansas.
*690 million pounds - The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2007, essentially unchanged from 2006 and 11 percent more than 2005. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 390 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (180 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 18 million to 52 million pounds.
*Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as 'tom' to spite Jefferson.
The First Thanksgiving
When the Pilgrims first gathered together to share
with their Indian friends in the mild autumn air,
they lifted the voices in jubilant praise
for the bread on the table, the berries and maize,
for field and for forest, for turkey and deer,
for the bountiful crops they were blessed with that year.
They were thankful for these as they feasted away,
and as they were thankful we're thankful today.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends, both in real life and virtual.