More Thanksgiving “Did-You-Knows”

Check here for more Thanksgiving Fun Facts first, then come back here for more.

Did you know …

the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621?

While there are accounts of Thanksgiving celebrations pre-dating 1621, that was the year most historians recognize as the first American Thanksgiving celebration.

Thanksgiving dinner hasn’t changed much over the years?

The food eaten at the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 was not too different from our modern standard. The pilgrims’ meal consisted of turkey, venison, waterfowl, lobster, fish, clams, pumpkin, squash, berries, and fruit. Aside from the seafood, most of these foods are still staples of our present-day Thanksgiving dinners.

it wasn’t until 1941 that congress made Thanksgiving an official national holiday?

Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday during his presidency but it never received congressional backing until 1947.

the wishbone tradition is much older than thanksgiving?

Turkeys’ wishbones are commonly used in a good-luck tradition on Thanksgiving. Usually, the practice consists of two people tugging on either end of the brittle bone while silently making a wish until it breaks. It is said that whoever wins the larger piece will have their wish granted.

This tradition dates back to the Etruscan civilization circa 322 B.C. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England, and the English colonists then proceeded to carry the tradition to America.

Turkeys are (kind of) named after the country?

This is a really interesting one: No, the big turkey does not really hail from the country Turkey. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, a bird called the guinea fowl — which bears a striking resemblance to the American turkey — was imported to Europe from its native North Africa. Because the birds came from Turkish lands, Europeans called them the turkey-cock and turkey-hen. When settlers in the Americas began sending similar-looking birds back to Europe, the name had already stuck!

that Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song?

This is another neat one: “Jingle Bells,” the classic Christmas song written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, wasn’t meant to be about Christmas. Originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh,” the ditty was meant to be sung on Thanksgiving. When it was reprinted in 1859, however, the name was changed to “Jingle Bells, or the One Horse Open Sleigh,” and was prescribed for Christmas.

Benjamin Franklin wished the turkey was the national bird?

Being a part of the world of theater, I knew this one:  In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “For my own part, I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country … For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird.” And although Franklin didn’t have his wish granted, his letter inspired a song performed in 1776, the Tony-winning musical about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

And the name of that song was: “The Egg”.

there was a Thanksgiving meal served in England in 1942 that was later viewed as ironic?

During WWII, in 1942 London’s legendary Westminster Abbey, a Thanksgiving meal was served to U.S troops who were stationed there because of the war.  Though a much-appreciated deed, it was also strangely ironic because the holiday was founded by pilgrims who had come to America – fleeing religious persecution in England.


Blessings to You and Yours,
Zorro Daddy

One response to “More Thanksgiving “Did-You-Knows”

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving “Did-You-Knows” |

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