I have to say Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays in the USA as it is not commercial, (well compared to Christmas, Valentine’s day, Halloween etc. although I believe Butterball LLC and *Campbell’s might disagree) It covers all or at least most religions and it’s about family and being thankful for what we have, which, for a lot of us expats living in the USA, is a great deal.
Being an expat here and arriving via Virgin and not The Mayflower, I wasn’t taught about Thanksgiving at school so I have done a little research about it and have come up with some interesting facts that are useful to know and more importantly to share while serving the pumpkin pie with your American friends and family that makes you not only knowledgeable but enables you to shed a little Brit Wit into the festivities.
The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days. Many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn’t survive that difficult first year in the U.S. Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until over 200 years later! Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who actually wrote the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after writing letters for 17 years campaigning for this to happen.
In 1953, someone at Swanson severely overestimated the amount of turkey Americans would consume that Thanksgiving. With 260 tons of frozen birds to get rid of, a company salesman named Gerry Thomas ordered 5,000 aluminum trays, recruited an assembly line of women armed with spatulas and ice-cream scoops and began creating mini-feasts of turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes — creating the first-ever TV dinner. Thomas later said he got the idea from neatly packaged airplane food.
There are 32 Counties, places and townships in the United States named Plymouth. Plymouth Rock was the landing site of the first Pilgrims.
242 million turkeys are forecasted to be raised in the United States in 2014, with Minnesota leading the way with 45 million.
The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighs 86 pounds.
Californians consume the most turkey in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day!
Female turkeys (called hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.
Turkey has more protein than beef or chicken.
US plumbers can never go shopping on Black Friday as according to Roto Router its their busiest day of the year! (may be plumbers call it Brown Friday!)
*Campbell’s soup created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook 50 years ago. It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.
On that note, I think I’m going to write a UPakWeShip cook book where a turkey starts its life in a free range U Cube moving box!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
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