Four Things You May Not
Know About Thanksgiving
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In 4 month's time, or November 22 this year, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving 2012.
You've probably celebrated numerous Thanksgivings with friends, relatives, and family, but
our bet is that there are still some things you are unfamiliar with about this American
holiday. Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving.
The Turkey Tradition
Roughly forty million turkeys -or about seven hundred forty million pounds of turkey meat -
will be consumed during this American Holiday. Minnesota is the USA's top turkey-
producing state, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana. These
"six big states" produce 2 of every 3 US raised birds.
Every year at least two lucky turkeys are get to live out their natural lives because of a
longstanding tradition since Washington’s time of giving presidential pardon to these birds.
The turkeys served these days to commemorate the first Thanksgiving aren't really
historically exact considering that the pilgrims would have had wild turkey, which are far
smaller and also capable of flying in bursts unlike farm-bred turkeys. Wild turkeys were
extremely common in North America in the eighteenth century that Benjamin Franklin even
he made a suggestion that the turkey to become the official US bird, not the bald eagle.
The First Thanksgiving Menu
Interestingly, the main dish when Pilgrims celebrated the first thanksgiving in 1621 in what
has become the area of Massachusetts was venison, not turkey. In fact, most of what we
regard as traditional Thanksgiving meals was unknown at the first Thanksgiving. Potatoes
and sweet potatoes weren't yet staples then, and cranberry sauce was difficult to find.
Pumpkin pie was also nonexistent then because of the lack of ingredients for the crust. If
you want to dine like a Pilgrim yourself this Thanksgiving Day 2012, consider stewed
pumpkin, succotash, and venison dishes instead.
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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The tradition started in 1924, and unlike the helium-filled balloons we see these days, the
first 3 parades had Central Park Zoo animals. The balloons were used only in 1927, and in
those days, were released above the skyline with the promise of rewards for their finders.
For 242 years it was not a holiday
It is the 1621 Plymouth Thanksgiving that is credited
to the birth of this American modern holiday. Just
about everything that we know regarding the
Plymouth celebration comes from a description in a
letter written by Edward Winslow, the leader of
that colony. However that letter was misplaced for
two centuries, and was only discovered again in the 1800s. From that document though, it
was clear that the feast was not something which was made to be commemorated each
year. The said letter has been published extensively in numerous publications, and in 1863,
US President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.
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