I love Thanksgiving! Like the 4th of July, the holiday is a celebration of America and gratitude. A great heaping bunch of delicious food, and no presents to fuss over!
So here are some holiday facts; some well known, some a little more obscure:
- The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as "suggestive."
- Turkeys are known to spend the night in trees! (Maybe to escape the Thanksgiving table?)
- Turkeys can drown if they look up when it's raining!
- A turkey's field of vision is 270 degrees--one of the main reasons they're able to elude some hunters.
- The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.
- There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.
- Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats.
- 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.
- Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.)
- President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for our National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.
- President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national “Thanksgiving Day.” 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.
- Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.