Thanksgiving Fun Facts

By: Robin Ruerhwein


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which I can hardly believe is next week already, I wanted to share some interesting facts about the holiday that I found online. Halloween, is my favorite holiday, but Thanksgiving is a close second for me. I host dinner every year and start looking forward to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in August.  I’ve never seen it live, but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

Did you know…..

1. Americans feast on 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving.

2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird.

3. Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, however wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour over short distances.

4. Only male (tom) turkeys gobble. Females make a clicking noise. The famous gobble is actually a seasonal mating call.

5. Turkeys can drown if they look up when it’s raining!

6. Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats. Buckles did not come into fashion until the late 1600s – more appropriate for the Salem Witchcraft trial time period.

7. The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name craneberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry.

8. President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for our National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.

9. Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.

10. The average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.

11. There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.

12. The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64! There were 102 people that originally boarded the ship.

13. There are 8 places and townships in the US that are named “Cranberry” or some variation of the name (e.g., Cranbury, New Jersey).

14. Of the people who boarded the Mayflower, fifteen of them were named John.

15. In addition to the passengers, there were two dogs on the Mayflower!

16. Upon the Mayflower’s departure, three of the women were pregnant. One gave birth on the way to America to a baby boy who was named Oceanus.

17. The first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, lasted three days. And it was actually a one time event. A Calvinist Thanksgiving actually did occur in 1623 and did not involve sharing food with the Native Americans.

18. The largest turkey on record was 86 pounds!!

19. It is NOT the turkey that makes you sleepy after a Thanksgiving feast. Tryptophan can only make you sleepy if taken on an empty stomach without protein. It’s the carbohydrates in the other foods we eat with our meal that make us sleepy!

20. Since Harry Truman, every president has pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and make lots of new memories with your families.


2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Fun Facts

  1. Pingback: Happy Turkey Day!
  2. Turkeys were once proposed to be our national bird. Wild turkeys were/are incredibly smart creatures, unlike their domesticated partners. we found this interesting when doing a turkey project with the kids earlier this year.

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